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Graduate recruitment managers have moved to reassure students that many law firms are still recruiting for 2011/12 as the deadline for submitting training contract applications looms.
Of all the top 20 law firms contacted by Lawyer2B.com over half said they are still accepting applications for training contracts, though some did concede that they had fewer vacancies.
Herbert Smith graduate recruitment manager Claire Kinselley said: “If you’re looking for a training contract you should just apply and not be deterred by the increase in competition.”
Paula Quinton-Jones, graduate recruitment manager at Clyde & Co, agreed. “You’ve got to be in it to win it,” she said.
Despite a recent Sweet & Maxwell survey, which claimed that there has been a 150 per cent jump in the number of applications per training contract vacancy (read story), most firms interviewed by Lawyer2B.com denied this was the case and said they had received a similar number of applications to previous years.
Graduate recruitment managers put this down to students fleeing the jobs market to take gap years until economic conditions improve. But Quinton-Jones warned students that by delaying applying for training contracts by a year they are adding another two years to the qualification process.
Denton Wilde Sapte, meanwhile, is still recruiting for trainees in its Milton Keynes office and onto its Middle East programme.
Outside the top 20, Olswang is also accepting training contract applications until the end of the month.
Top tip: Double check on individual law firm graduate recruitment websites for information on which intakes law firms are recruiting for and whether they are accepting applications from both law and non-law students. Freshfields and Linklaters, for instance, are only accepting applications from law students.