Editor’s weekly: Showing you the exit

Most of you should know that a training contract lasts for just two years and following that period a firm is perfectly entitled to let you go.

On a similar token if at the end of your training you feel the firm wasn’t right for you or indeed law wasn’t as great as you’d hoped it would be then you’re free to walk.

The number of final seat trainees a firm keeps on following qualification is very telling of how well it is doing – hence Lawyer2B.com’s obsession with retention rates.

So how are retention rates looking for Spring 2011 qualifiers? Not bad, considering. Overall, the figures that have been reported to us look much more healthy than during the darkest days of the recession when newly qualified lawyer (NQ) retention rates averaged around 70 per cent. In contrast several firms including the likes of Allen & Overy, Nabarro, Norton Rose and Slaughter and May have reported impressive retention rates of 80 per cent and upwards. While Stephenson Harwood and US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges are holding onto 100 per cent of their NQs (read more).

But as is the case with all stats retention rates should be taken with a gigantic pinch of salt because the percentage increases/decreases are more dramatic when a firm has a smaller pool of NQs. What’s more as is always the case some firms try to boost their retention rates by deducting any trainees who decided not to apply for an NQ position before calculating their percentage.

Anyway, whether you choose to believe the stats or not the general consensus is that prospects for the very junior end of the market are looking a little bit rosier.

Saying that unlike a dog these days no job is for life.