DWF is pairing up final-seat trainees with partners who qualified during the last recession in an effort to help them navigate the tough jobs market.

The firm has 37 trainees reaching qualification this autumn; however, it has published only 25 job vacancies within the firm, meaning some will have no choice but to leave.

Partners Laurence Applegate, Katharine Mason, Nicola Dunk and Sheona Woods and Hilary Ross ran initial mentoring sessions online for current trainees, a group discussion in which they shared what they went through and how they reached partnership despite the period of uncertainty.

Following on from this, 121 sessions are in the process of being held between the trainees and mentors. The trainees have also been offered sessions with DWF’s recruitment team focusing on the application process, CV building and interview skills.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Applying for NQ jobs at the end of your training contract is an extremely stressful time, more so now than ever given the impacts of COVID-19. For the trainees, they feel as though their careers have stalled, and it is essential to help demonstrate it is not. Those who qualified in 2008/2009 went through a similar period of uncertainty caused by the recession, which led to a lack of jobs on qualification. DWF wanted to set up an initiative that put current partners who qualified during the recession in touch with current trainees to share their experience and advice.”

“The feedback we have received from our trainees is that their friends at other firms would welcome the same level of support as we offer at DWF. In these unprecedented times, we want to help all trainees who are facing uncertainty and are in the process of finalising a trainee seminar that will be open to trainees both within DWF and externally.”