Fledgling training model off to a flying start

More than 400 aspiring lawyers have signed up to the radical new training model Accutrainee since its launch in September 2011.

To date the revolutionary training business has had four organisations commit to the programme, which incorporates a combination of in-house departments and law firms, including Olswang.

Founder and CEO Susan Cooper said: “Even though we haven’t actively started advertising yet, I’m pleased to announce that we’ve received several hundred applications so far, many of which are of an excellent standard, and we continue to receive a steady flow of applications every day.”

The business, validated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in September last year, will recruit its own would-be solicitors from postgraduate law schools and then second them to up to three firms to complete their two-year training contracts.

The trainees will spend no less than three months with each firm.

The programme endeavours to cut significantly the upfront costs ­associated with offering training ­contracts to students while they are still at university.

Such costs include graduate recruitment marketing activities and sponsorship of the Legal Practice Course, with firms forking out approximately £175,000 in total to recruit and train a single graduate.

The news follows Olswang, which was the first law firm to sign up to the training model, announcing its ­intention to open up one slot for the pilot scheme in its 2014 intake. This comes after the firm cut its trainee solicitor numbers by 50 per cent for 2014 and 2015 (Lawyer2B.com, 2 November 2011).

Cooper said Accutrainee has ­several organisations with which it is currently in discussions.

“We hope to be in a position to have the first Accutrainees starting their training contracts within the next few months,” she added.