The number of students chasing training contracts this summer has rocketed with several leading law firms reporting a 50 per cent jump in applications.
DLA Piper received 1,538 applications for training contracts starting in 2012 across all its English offices. This compares to just 1,080 for positions commencing in 2011. DLA Piper typically hires 85-90 trainees per year meaning that around 18 students are chasing each position.
Meanwhile, approximately 730 students applied to New York-giant Weil Gotshal & Manges representing a 50 per cent increase on last year.
Newly merged Hogan Lovells, which only received 1,000 applications in summer 2009 after it closed its trainee recruitment programme, has also reported a healthy jump in applications and is now back in line with its previous record of around 1,700.
The firm’s director of legal resourcing Clare Harris said: “Last year was a very odd year as we saw a dip in the amount of applications. I think this was to do with the deferrals and the general state of the jobs market. I think a lot of candidates were just put off applying and have now re-entered the market.”
Elsewhere, Denton Wilde Sapte has seen its training contract applications jump by 40 per cent. Herbert Smith, meanwhile, confirmed that its training contract applications are up 16 per cent on last year with 1,750 students chasing training contracts at the City firm.
Commenting on the statistics one graduate recruiter said: “One possible explanation for this is that many of the students who put off applying for training contracts last year because of redundancies and deferrals have re-entered the jobs market. As such this year we’ve seen more applications from students who have just graduated or finished the Legal Practice Course.”
However, not all the firms interviewed by Lawyer2B.com posted an increase in training contract applications. Addleshaw Goddard, Baker & McKenzie and Olswang all said their numbers were static with each firm receiving between 1,700 to 2,000 forms.
The deadline for submitting applications for training contracts starting in 2012 passed on 31 July.