Trainees try to make it to qualification

Clifford Chance and Dentons have posted decent trainee retention results for the autumn.

Clifford Chance made offers to 42 out of its qualifying cohort of 50 trainees, all of whom accepted, giving the Magic Circle firm a good retention rate of 84%; an improvement on its score of 70% in the spring and 70% last autumn.

Trainee numbers across many firms have dropped compared to a decade ago. A scour through the archives reveals that the cohorts have been shrinking at Clifford Chance, as well. The Magic Circle firm took on a total of 88 trainees this year, compared with 136 trainees in 2011, 113 in 2012, and 126 in 2013.

However, a Clifford Chance spokeswoman indicated that trainee numbers may rise again, as she told RollOnFriday that: "We are currently recruiting cohorts of between 100-110", including the 2023 intake. 

Dentons has also posted a solid retention rate of 86%, an improvement on last year's score of 76%. This year, 40 out of the cohort of 42 qualifying trainees applied for a NQ position, with 36 being successful. 

“Congratulations to all of our newly-qualified lawyers for achieving this important career milestone," said Paul Jarvis, the firm's UK, Ireland and Middle East CEO. "As someone who trained at Dentons myself I know how trainees are the lifeblood of our firm, and look forward to seeing their careers progress as we continue to invest in their development.”

And it seems Dentons has bucked the trend of shrinking cohorts, as it has marginally expanded its intake over the decade. Which may not be surprising, given its appetite for growth over the last ten years. This year's qualifying group of 42 trainees, compares with a cohort of 36 in 2011, 39 in 2012 and 35 in 2013.

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