Clarke Willmott has confirmed that it will no longer be accepting training contract applications from students.

The firm will however continue to take on trainees from its stock of paralegals. At first sight, this might seem a great scheme: CW can try before it buys, as it will be able to thoroughly test its candidates' pagination skills before offering a training contract. And the firm won't have to foot any students' LPC fees.

But how many students will go for a paralegal job at CW if they are offered a training contact at another firm? CW may save a few quid, but it risks scraping the bottom of the grad rec barrel.

    Clarke Willmott's grad rec officer yesterday

So why is the firm doing this? Well, it does seem times are tough as one insider claimed that the Birmingham office was "almost empty", and "most teams see the firm merely surviving, certainly not going anywhere". And RollOnFriday has been told that a 3PQE CW lawyer gets paid £39k, which is nearly ten grand less than at Burges Salmon and twelve grand less than at Osborne Clarke. Even Bevan Brittan, which recently made a swathe of staff redundant and is having to deal with the downturn in public sector work, manages £42k.

A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.
 
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