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Trainees thrive at a certain Magic Circle firm

Posted by: Laurence Simons 28/07/14

Trainees, apprentices and work experience interns all over the country will be familiar with the scenario: they carry out a temporary placement with a firm during which they're told they will be the first port of call when a job comes up - only to find upon completing it that nothing is available and no positions are even on the horizon. However, trainees at legal firm Linklaters may be more likely than most to avoid finding themselves in this position.

The company has just published its latest retention rate figures and they show that the company kept on 93 per cent of qualifying trainees in its latest cohort, even higher than the 86 per cent recorded in spring this year.

Some 54 out of 57 received offers, including 53 lawyers who will no doubt be thrilled to join such a prestigious Magic Circle company.

The offers might also be less likely to get turned down too, as Linklaters recently increased its first year pay to £40,000, up by 1.26 per cent on last year at a time when many of those starting out are struggling to get pay rises. Salaries for newly-qualified lawyers there are now £65,000.

It is perhaps hoping to continue to reverse the decline in retention noticed back in spring 2010, when only 73 per cent of trainees stuck with the firm. This had risen to 87 per cent by September last year though - and these latest statistics should reassure recruitment managers they are doing the right things to attract the most talented individuals. Maybe they get some nice cakes in on Fridays.

However, it may still be worth trainee lawyers and solicitors taking a look around to see what else other firms can offer them, as even the Linklater statistics don't represent the highest retention rate.
For example, Clifford Chance retained 94 per cent of its trainees - 45 out of the 48 lawyers who learnt their trade there. Taylor Wessing has announced its autumn 2014 figures already and it intends to keep 91 per cent of its qualifiers.

Those that do choose to remain with Linklaters should not be missing out compared to their peers though. In April, it was named as a top employer for women by The Times and Opportunity Now after making nurturing female talent one of its top priorities.