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Law recruitment code altered to benefit graduates

Published: Saturday, 01 August 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Law firms will soon be able to recruit potential trainees from second year university classes following a change to the graduate recruitment code for the sector.

Previously, law firms had to wait until students were in the final year of their studies to make an offer, but that is set to change.

The code – which is voluntary – aims to ensure that good recruitment practices are used by law firms and those following it believe it needed to be changed to reflect growing demand for the best talent.

It means that from September, training contract offers can be made from the start of a student’s penultimate year of study.

Students are not obliged to accept offers and firms are not allowed to pressure them into doing so, something which has not changed from previous years.

Any student that accepts an offer must also withdraw from all other recruitment processes that they might be involved in – another aspect of the rules that remains unchanged.

Junior Lawyers Division chair Max Harris explained that widespread support still exists for the code that offers best practice guidance, but that it was felt it was becoming outdated.

In order to reflect modern practices, the code was revised and accepted by signatories – changes driven by the rapid withdrawal of support for it from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

They questioned whether the old code was still of value which caused much debate in law circles across the UK.

It is designed to create a fair recruitment process that ensures the best individuals from the graduate talent pool have enough time to decide if a role suits them.

This opens up the potential for various placements for students, enabling them to consider different practice areas within the law sector.

Harris believes the changes should “provide students with time to excel at university” while creating a more level playing field for those from different backgrounds.

He added that work had been carried out with recruiters so that employers who follow the new code will not be at a disadvantage when alongside those who do not.

Grad Plus has a number of graduate jobs for those hunting for careers in a wide range of sectors

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