I am in a similar position to Ian Oldfield (4 November) but awaiting a training contract with a firm of solicitors. The total number of applications I have made to date mirrors Mr Oldfield's. This does not include the 55 firms, advertising for trainees, from whom I have received no reply. Common courtesy does not seem to be a virtue that these solicitors possess. In the interim, I have been forced to undertake unreliable temporary work. My years of studying are going to waste and I hope that the educational establishments realise that to continue taking students will lead to more insecurity and disappointment for all concerned.