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Statistics reflect a varied traineeship marketplace across Scotland

13 February 2019

Recent figures have revealed an increase in the number of solicitor traineeships offered by law firms in towns and more rural areas of Scotland, such as Ayrshire, Argyll and Bute, Highlands and Islands, and Lanarkshire. This is a positive indicator for these regions and other more rural areas of Scotland.

Over the past five years the number of traineeships offered to aspiring solicitors has remained relatively consistent and newly published statistics from the Law Society of Scotland show that the number of traineeships available has risen by 8% to 587.

The statistics have also revealed an increasing number of opportunities available outside of what is classed as some of the bigger law firms (31+ partners). Smaller law firms (1-5 partners), have seen a 5% increase in the number of traineeships offered compared to last year, despite the smaller firm traineeships being promoted on less-visible platforms.

Graham Matthews, Past President at the Law Society and Partner at law firm Peterkins in Inverurie, said, “Our rural profession typically provides a lot of employment in local communities where otherwise there might be none. Most rural law firms have no difficulty getting admin staff or secretarial support, but without trainees, paralegal and solicitor employees, hopefully one day becoming owners, our rural practices will surely wither and disappear. This could have a big impact on access to justice for people.”

Katie Wood, Head of Admissions at the Law Society, said, “There are some great messages in the statistics for those seeking traineeships. It’s really encouraging to see an increase in the number of solicitor traineeships outside of Edinburgh and Glasgow, such as Ayrshire and the Highlands and Islands. The proportion of these traineeships in Glasgow and Edinburgh appears to be levelling out, whereas in the past there was a higher number of Edinburgh based traineeships. It’s also interesting to note that the number of traineeships offered at firms with 1-5 partners is similar to the number offered at firms with 31+ partners.

“I’m pleased to see that the proportion of traineeships offered in-house remains at a similar level. In-house environments are such a varied and interesting place to receive training.”

The report has also revealed that there are currently 649 students commencing the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice.

Law students wishing to find out more about these opportunities may be interested in attending the Law Society’s upcoming Lawscot Student Roadshows, which are designed to highlight these options and give careers guidance.

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