RollOnFriday can exclusively reveal that Allen & Overy is reducing the number of trainees it takes on by a massive 25% from its 2008 peak.

Back in the heady pre-credit crunch days the firm took on 120 trainees a year. Since then the number has fallen to 105 and by 2014 it will fall again, to just 90. A spokesman for the firm said that the move is "market related", and added "London law firms used to enjoy 10% year-on-year growth; those days are probably over for the foreseeable future".  He said that it would only impact students applying from 1st November for the 2014 intake onwards, and current contracts and offers weren't affected.

There is no doubt that there is less demand for legal services than there was three years ago, hence the need for fewer qualified lawyers and, inevitably, fewer training contracts. But a full 25% cut from one of the UK's biggest law firms still makes grim reading for students. The Law Society reckons that 4,874 training contracts were registered between August 2009 and July 2010. If every law firm follows A&O's lead, then 1,218 students who would have found training contracts in the past could be flipping burgers.

    A LPC graduate who would previously have gone to A&O, tomorrow
Two months ago the College of Law said that it foresaw an oversupply of training contracts, and it intended to increase the number of places on its courses. Riiight...

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