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Drop in Available Graduate Jobs in the Law Industry

Published: Wednesday, 18 April 2012   Category: Law

Law graduates looking to get a foot on the career ladder will have to work harder - and look harder – for opportunities as trainee solicitors, as new research reveals that graduate vacancies in the law industry have fallen by 10 per cent since 2008.

Research published by Lawyer 2B found that of the top 20 law firms, there were 1,467 trainee vacancies available for those graduating in 2011-2012, but this is likely to fall to 1,320 trainees for their 2013-14 intakes.

Graduate opportunities for trainee law placements are often advertised well in advance, with long lead times between acceptance onto a training programme and an actual start date.

It has taken a few years for the full effect of graduate recruitment cuts to be felt and the difference between the 2012 intake and 2014 equates to a 10 per cent overall cut in recruitment opportunities.

The figures from among the top 20 law firms will not be encouraging reading to UK law graduates. Earlier this month research was published, which suggested that medium sized law firms are also making cut backs on their graduate recruitment.

Research carried out by legal referrals service Contact Law found that a huge 76 per cent of medium-sized legal firms are not going to employ any graduates over the next twelve months.

Head of resourcing Clare Harris at leading law firm Hogan Lovells told Lawyer 2B that getting the right number of trainees each year was the top priority for all law graduate recruiters.

“These numbers are just a ¬guideline, and if we ¬interview a really high-¬calibre candidate then we could go beyond this level,” she said.

“There will always be a place for good graduate recruitment programmes at reputable law firms. But the volume of vacancies will fluctuate depending on market conditions. Clearly, we cannot predict how the current situation will pan out.”

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