Trainees, you’re not on the list

Groucho Marx famously snubbed any club that would have him, but what about a club that simply won’t squeeze in any more members?

Today’s news that the UK legal party is full to the brim, with the number of training contract having fallen to lowest level since 1998 is going to leave plenty of hard-up students wailing into their White Lightning outside the velvet rope.

Last year, the number of training contracts registered nationwide fell by more than 10 per cent. Registrations were also 16 per cent lower than in the 2007 glory days. Most damning of all, there are now the same number of training contracts on offer as in the dotcom boom days. Remember that? No, we don’t either.

A month ago, The Lawyer posed a series of key questions, including what is the business model behind trainee recruitment and retention, and what are firms going to do as the legal market changes, the recession becomes semi-permanent and paralegals take over all of the grunt work?

The answer we kept hearing was “We don’t know”.

Today’s news confirms that depressing state of affairs.

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