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Society calls on in-house solicitors to join traineeship discussions

14 August 2019

In-house solicitors are being invited to take part in Law Society of Scotland focus groups to share their views on in-house traineeships.

The events, which will take place in September and October, follow a survey earlier this year which explored perceived barriers to taking on trainees. The survey, which attracted more than 320 responses, also looked at the benefits of having a traineeship programme and what motivates organisations to take on trainees.

The discussion groups are being held to collect further qualitative evidence on the in-house traineeship market. A full report on the survey and the focus groups will be published later this year.

Initial findings indicate that the most significant perceived barriers to taking on a trainee include the inability for in-house teams to offer a traditional three or four seat rotation for trainees, and a lack of personnel and/or financial resource to support a trainee. The opportunity to "grow your own" trainee by shaping the experience they need to make a good in-house solicitor was rated as the most important factor influencing the decision to take on a trainee, with secondment programmes or having support from paralegal colleagues not impacting significantly.

Beth Anderson, head of engagement for in-house lawyers, commented: "The survey has highlighted some interesting findings which we want to explore further through the focus group discussions.

"We are keen to find out more from established trainee providers about their experiences of running traineeship programmes, including some of the challenges they have encountered and collation of positive testimonials. We also want to examine some of the negative themes emanating from the survey and how the Society can help to break down any barriers to taking on a trainee. We’re particularly keen to hear from solicitors at organisations with no or limited traineeship experience, including anyone who may be considering taking on a trainee in the future."

The focus groups will be held on:

  • Thursday 19 September, 12.30-2pm in Edinburgh
  • Thursday 3 October, 12.30-2pm in Glasgow
  • Tuesday 8 October, 12.30-2pm in Edinburgh

Anyone interested in taking part, whether or not they can attend on one of these dates, should contact Beth Anderson at

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