TSG survey shows debt and security worries

A NEW survey carried out by the Trainee Solicitors' Group shows job security, student debt and quality of training are the three issues most prominent in the minds of young lawyers.

Findings of the study, to be released at the TSG annual conference next month, show law students are averaging debts of up to u10,000 and most are finding it difficult to pay them back within the average five-year repayment period.

TSG chair, Richard Moorhead, says the survey was prompted by the Young Solicitors' Groups quality of life campaign.

"The three things that really stand out in this survey are concerns about job security, concerns about the level of debt that trainees have to struggle with, and concerns about the quality of training and supervision that both trainees and newly-qualifieds receive," says Moorhead.

"Debts can go up to about u15,000 and it is becoming increasingly common for people to have debts of u10,000.

"In most cases those debts have to be repaid within a five year period and it takes a great chunk out of anybody's disposable income – particularly for those people on a minimum salary."

Moorhead says the group is also investigating problems aff-ecting trainees and young lawyers in different regions but, as yet, no statistics have been released.

"Debt seems to be much more of a problem for people outside London because those people in London nearly always get much more than the minimum salary, and they're also much more likely to obtain support through the Legal Practice Course."