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How to find Training Contract in a Recession

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

By Lily Edwards

Finding and securing a training contract is notoriously difficult due to the limited

spaces and subsequent competitive application process. The current economic

climate added pressure of a recession means not as many firms will be offering

training contracts in the years to come, meaning this process will only become more

difficult. However, while this is an overwhelming thought, try not to panic. We have

comprised some tips to boost your chances of securing a training contract, despite

the recession.

Break the guidelines

It is advised that students who wish to secure a training contract should aim to make

about 7-10 applications at the firms they resonate most with. While it is still

important to only choose firms which you resonate with, you may wish to apply for

up to 15 firms to increase your chances. However, it goes without saying that this is a

lot of work to take on, as each application takes about 2 days, according to However, though time-consuming, one added benefit of this of

method is practise. Not only are you increasing your chances of securing a training

contract by applying to more firms, but you are widening your opportunities to

attend assessment days and sit tests will improve your overall interview confidence.

Make speculative applications

This is another time-consuming activity, but one which can seriously pay off if

successful. Many city firms will advertise their TC’s on popular platforms such as, Handshake, and LinkedIn. However, smaller regional and high street

firms may not advertise trainee positions due to the recession but may be willing to

take on one or two trainees if contacted and seeing your potential and connection to

their firm. It is therefore an idea to write a cover style letter, personal to each firm

and explain why you are interested in the firm and why. It is imperative that you

choose firms which you are interested in for this to be successful, as showing how

keen you are but being genuine about your approach is what helps to lead to an inperson


Keep track of application deadlines

It can seem overwhelming to make up to 15 applications, when each one takes hours

to complete, especially alongside juggling studies and a job during the current

economic climate. However, one tip to make this more manageable is to make a list

of the deadlines for each one you wish to apply to and work from soonest to latest

deadline. Starting your applications as early as possible helps with this. Allow

yourself at least a week to go over each application so you have the time to read

over and alter your answers should you need to, which also means you can work

around studies and a job.

Use your connections

It is no secret that knowing people in an industry is a huge advantage, and this

applies to law and training contracts. One idea is to ask any friends/course mates you

may have from law school who have secured a training contract for tips and to read

your application. However, unfortunately not everyone has friends or contacts in the

industry, and this is where LinkedIn can be useful! Search up the firm you are

thinking of applying to, and more often than not you will be able to find current

trainees or newly qualified solicitors. These people will have been in your shoes

before and will often be very willing to help you by offering tips and advice.

Finally…Try not to panic!

This is undoubtedly easier said than done. However, you must remember that if you

are looking for a training contract, it means that you have successfully completed

your undergraduate (and possibly GDL). This means you have the required skills and

knowledge under your belt. It is a game of patience and dedication, and so long as

you persevere you can succeed!

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