Scottish traineeships on the increase
The Law Society of Scotland has revealed that the number of traineeships offered by Scottish law firms rose last year with more than 100 new places on offer in 2010 compared to the previous year, with a total of 539 first-year traineeships being registered in Scotland.
Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said:
“This news is to be welcomed, albeit with some caution. It is good news for those seeking to enter the legal profession and for the future of the profession as a whole. Providing traineeships is an essential investment in the future of the solicitors’ profession and this rise in training contracts is a good indicator that things are moving forwards following a major drop in available traineeships in 2009.
“Prior to the downturn, there had been an ongoing rise in the number of traineeships on offer to diploma graduates, which reached 629 by the close of 2007. This of course meant that the subsequent fall over two years, with a very sharp drop to just 427 training places in 2009, appeared even more severe. We are now at a level comparable to the number of training contracts on offer in 2006.
“While market conditions in the legal market remain difficult, the outlook in this respect is better than it has been for the past two years and, while competition for training places remains fierce following the downturn, the rise in the number of traineeships offered is an indicator of some optimism in the sector. We want to ensure that this continues and are keen to support trainees and training firms by encouraging them to think creatively and potentially provide flexible options which may differ from the usual two-year traineeship, such as part-time training or to share training between two firms, which can be agreed with the Society.”