Trainee reduction

It’s training contract interview season now, but candidates have reasons to be fearful. Firms are cutting their trainee numbers left, right and centre, meaning that when the current cohort of successful applicants start at their firms in two years’ time, they could be part of much smaller groups.

The latest firm to announce a reduction in its intake is Nabarro, which will now offer up to 25 places for a July 2013 start rather than the 35 it previously advertised. The City firm, which is moving from Holborn to London Wall in 2014, says it has only given out roughly 25 of its 35 places for a number of years, so officially it’s no major change – but who’s to say it will fill all 25 slots in future?

Nabarro can find cheerier news in its retention rate, which jumped from 69 per cent in summer 2012 to 78 per cent for this spring, although the numbers are small – seven out of nine qualifying trainees will be kept on as associates – and the percentage is a drop on 87 per cent for spring 2012.

What with Clifford Chance cutting its 2015 trainee intake from 120 to 100 and the trainee anger that came out of its end-of-year NQ shenanigans, we’re in a shaky time for grassroots law.


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