Students worried about securing training contracts as recession bites

A whopping 70 per cent of would-be lawyers are worried about securing a training contract in light of the global econonic downturn, according to exclusive research by Lawyer2B.com.

Last months online poll revealed that most students thought their future in the legal profession looked bleak compared to an optimistic 26 per cent who didnt think the credit crunch would affect their chances in gaining a training contract.

Warwick University student Chrissy Vassiliou admitted that having to battle with non-law students, who are fleeing the banking sector, for training contracts scared most of her peers.

Its hard enough getting a training contract as it is, especially at a magic circle firm. But with more people going in to law from accounting or banking the competition is going to get really, really tough, explained the law and business student.

In October Lawyer 2B reported that Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) student numbers were up by more than 20 per cent at the College of Law and BPP this year.

Cambridge University undergraduate Anna Holmes, who is due to start her GDL next year, is also terrified by the thought that firms could freeze their training contract quotas like many did in the last recession.

But despite already having a training contract, president of UCL Law Society Robert Davidson, claimed that students who are serious about a career in law and have the right qualifications neednt worry.

Trainees dont make up much of the wage bill so it makes no sense for firms to start reducing their intake numbers. People who are really dedicated to a career in the legal profession shouldnt worry, said Davidson.

Simon Pilcher, graduate recruitment partner at CMS Cameron McKenna agreed. He said: Theres no doubt that market conditions are tough at the moment, and one knock on effect of the difficulties experienced by investment banks is that we may see more graduates targeting a career in law.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom and I believe most large London-based firms will continue to take a long term view when it comes to recruiting trainees and certainly at CMS weve no plans to reduce the numbers we take on.

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