Olswang signs up to Acculaw after cancelling 2013 graduate recruitment

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  • Suspect this will lead to even less security for trainees with a whistlestop induction to a firm before being thrown in at the deep end... on the plus side if the candidate can really impress their respective peers then it could result in them being inundated with offers...

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  • Yikes - wouldn't fancy being an outsourced trainee one bit. I really enjoyed my training contract - not because of the work (which was generally pretty poor) but because of social life and group spirit among the trainees. Take that away, and the link between the training contract and any particular firm, and the experience will be pretty bleak.

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  • It's the future, like, innit.
    The whole 'training contract' concept has become a complete farce, which serves only to artifically restrict access to the profession by allowing existing players to control supply and hence inflate prices.

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  • I wouldn't be too convinced of the likelihood of being offered a NQ position if I was an 'outsourced' trainee at a firm which has cancelled/deferred its trainee intake for the year in which I would be qualifying...

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  • This is seriously worrying. I would expect firms who care about their future to want to control the quality and training of the trainee intake - and therefore their future qualified lawyers. I'm not sure I would be very pleased if I was an Olswang client.
    I can see why Acculaw may be a good approach for overflow work for busy periods - but a complete withdrawal of graduate recruitment?!

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  • I highly doubt that agreeing to an acculaw "pilot scheme" equates to a complete withdrawal of graduate recruitment, or in fact agreeing to the supply a complete intake.

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  • Would hate to be a trainee in this position. Being an outsourced trainee would always be an uphill struggle and then looking for NQ positions would be even harder than it already is.

    Not at all surprised that Olswang are going for it though.

    Trainee labour without lawschool fees and labour costs you say? And we don't have to worry about retention figures you say?

    This is good news only for firms, not for prospective lawyers or Trainees.

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  • I think its a really good idea. Gain experience of work and life in 3 firms and get your name out and impress more than just 1. I suppose the only drawback would be whether or not loads of firms sign up or it just dies a death.

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  • It will be interesting to see how the already highly competitve atmosphere pans out where firms seek to supplement their existing intake. Surely permanent trainees will see the secondees as threats for potential NQ roles? Surely the secondees will seek to appear better than permantent trainees in their bid to steal said NQ roles?
    Such competition may well benefit firms in the short term but the 'us and them' attitude could destroy team spirit in the trainee/NQ ranks.

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  • We charge top rates because we are a profession. Take away the training contract/articles and replace it with a paralegal route to qualification and you end up with clients thinking we are all nothing but overpaid cut and paste word monkeys.
    Olswang was once the most admired TMT firm in the business. Tier 3 beckons.

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  • So does it mean trainees are not gonna be paid anymore? or what is their way of saving £175 000? It is still very difficult to get the training contract and now it will become impossible.

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  • Shame on Olswangs...I personally think that the trainees will suffer considerably and whilst the work trainees undertake now is not of the most complex nature, it will be even further diluted as there will be an 'outsider' menatlity. If a firms management endeavours to cut costs, then it should be just that cutting costs and not cutting corners....

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  • This article is slightly misleading. I've spoken directly to Olswang and they are only recruiting one trainee via the Acculaw scheme as a trial. They will still be recruiting trainees via training contracts as per usual with the addition of the extra one.

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  • This is certainly worrying, but there are positive aspects too: for example German trainee lawyers work through a series of placements in different firms (including international firms), and public sector legal services/the courts before they qualify. I think that giving Trainees as wide an experience as possible by increasing the scope for external placements can be a benefit.
    From my own experience, the notion of trainee retention by firms, particularly in the recession, is a little wishful anyway. This sounds like it might be a good way for Trainees to increase their marketability to other firms or types of legal work in the not unlikely event that they will have to find work elsewhere as an NQ.

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