Editor’s weekly: sign of things to come

The 2008/09 graduate recruitment season was without exception one of the toughest ever witnessed by the legal sector. With an endless number of firms deferring the start dates of trainees due to join this month (September) the knock on effect for students was catastrophic.

Many firms scaled back their vacation schemes while some such as Eversheds and Field Fisher Waterhouse went further by cancelling their recruitment programmes entirely.

That said, as the recruitment round draws to an end the feedback from my contacts has indeed been more upbeat. Many firms have reported to us that the significant jump in applications expected by non-law graduates flooding into the sector didn’t materialise. What’s more the same firms also claimed that they made similar number of training contract offers to previous years.

But that doesn’t mean would-be lawyers are completely out of the woods. As we reported earlier this week despite many firms becoming more optimistic about the end of the recession several law firms are planning to run fewer vacation schemes next summer (read article).

Though it’s too early to say exactly what prospects for graduates will be like next year I just hope that the reduction in vacation scheme opportunities isn’t a sign of worse to come.