B&M ups trainee salary stakes…

Baker & McKenzie has upped the ante in this year&#39s graduate recruitment stakes, with most rival firms still to finalise the details of their own offerings.

It now offers £2,000 or a new laptop to students on the Legal Practice Course (LPC), taking the recruitment package well past the £10,000 mark and leading to speculation that other City firms will follow suit.

Like many others, the firm already pays for students to sit the Common Professional Examination and the LPC and provides a maintenance grant of £5,000 for each year of postgraduate study. Trainees also receive a golden hello of £3,000 in their first pay packets. As Lawyer 2B went to press, other firms were finalising their recruitment packages for 2004.

A Baker & McKenzie spokesperson said: “Because there&#39s limited access to computers in universities, we thought it would be useful for them to have laptops. It is for them to keep, and they get another one when they join the firm.”

Those who opt for the cash could be £7,000 better off at the start of the LPC year.

“We&#39re aware that students get into debt and we don&#39t want our trainees to have to worry about that,” said the spokesperson, adding that it would give the firm a competitive edge over rivals when recruiting.