How Tough is it Really to Secure a Training Contract?

We all know the legal market is an over-crowded and over-competitive industry. Unfortunately, there are just not enough Training Contracts (TCs) to cover every legal graduate out there (imagine how much easier life would be if there was).

The financial crisis of 2012 (and the years leading up to it) had a big effect on the number of TCs commencing each year. For example, in 2013/14 the number of registered TCs was just 5,001. This number seems crazily low when you think about the number of people who successfully apply to study Law at University (see below), not to mention the amount of non-legal graduates who then go on to study the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).

Of course, the economy has begun to recover now and this shows in the number of  TCs registered in 2014/2015, which had risen to 5,457.  Unfortunately, although this number has risen, the case still remains that the number of legal graduates far outweighs the number of TCs available. In fact, the number of successful applications for law undergraduate courses has increased by 28% since 2007 and 3% since last year.

I know it sounds very depressing, but don’t give up! Keep looking around and applying for TCs that catch your eye and you will secure one. It may not happen as quickly as you would like it to (it certainly didn’t for me) but it will happen. You just have to keep gaining experience and make your applications as strong as possible. (Check out my previous blog about that here).

A number of excellent websites exist to help your search and I’ve listed a couple below for you guys:

  1. www.lawcareers.net  – this website is by far my favourite and is actually how I found my TC!
  2. www.allaboutlaw.co.uk
  3. www.thelawyer.com
  4. www.waterlowlegal.com 

Although the internet is one our greatest tools when searching for a job, please don’t forget about all of the other sources available..

Make sure you get in touch with your University careers team. Sign up to receive vacancy emails (BPP’s vacancy bulletin was very helpful to me whilst studying the LPC). Don’t be afraid to rely on word of mouth – ask all of your friends and family if they know anyone who works in a law firm – what’s the worst that can happen.

I think it’s important everyone who decided to study Law knows exactly what they’re getting into before they start. It can be very difficult to find a TC but keep searching, don’t give up and you will find one that suits you!


If you read my blog and have any suggestions for topics you would like to find out about, please let me know! As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me by leaving a comment or using the Contact page. 

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