FFW slashes graduate intake by a quarter

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has emerged as the latest law firm to overhaul its graduate recruitment programme in a bid to become more selective with its candidates.

Matthew Lohn

Matthew Lohn

The City firm has officially announced it will only be recruiting 15 trainees a year ­compared with the 20 it usually takes on, as well as confirming that it will only be ­targeting a select few universities during the current recruitment season.

Graduate recruitment partner Matthew Lohn said: “We’ve reviewed the needs of the business and the experiences of our trainees and made the decision to recruit a smaller number of high-calibre trainees. We’re ­planning to increase our engagement with them before they join to make it easier for them to get a feel for the areas of law they want to specialise in.”

The firm has chosen to target the universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, King’s College London, Manchester, ­Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton, UCL and Queen Mary.

Lohn said the reason for selecting these universities was because they had proved to be successful recruiting pools in the past and the fact that the firm had existing alumni connections with them.

In a bid to get more fee-earners engaged with the selection process the firm has also incorporated graduate recruitment into its career development framework for qualified lawyers. As well as this, once trainees are with the firm they will only experience four seats of six months instead of the usual six seats of four months.

The news comes after FFW struck a deal with Kaplan, the London arm of Nottingham Law School, last year to provide a bespoke Legal Practice Course as well as the Graduate Diploma in Law to all of its trainee solicitors.

In line with many other firms, FFW has also ­officially introduced verbal and logical reasoning tests as part of its online ­application process in a bid to weed out weaker ­candidates from the start.