The majority of law firms across the UK are unwilling to offer training contracts due to concerns such as finding the time to train them, salary expectations and concerns that it will not benefit the company in any way. But there could be a number of benefits to hiring junior lawyers to help reduce the work load of jobs that lawyers otherwise do not have the time for.
On average junior lawyers are valued at around £16,000 – £19,000 depending on the location and the size of the law firm. The costs of advertising for a junior lawyer however can sometimes an added expense that law firms do not want to pay out for but it can be generally cheap and easy to advertise for a trainee position.
If a law firm cannot afford to pay the minimum trainee salary, the trainee can have the option of applying to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) if they wish to ask permission to waive the trainee minimum wage.
Hiring junior lawyers as trainee’s from a wide range of backgrounds will create diversity and promote equal opportunities which may in return give you a competitive edge. Training a junior in house means that the law firm can help the trainee build a fantastic brand awareness and thorough understanding of the company’s ascetics, which will strengthen the team and the company. It is important to remember that a junior lawyer does not necessarily mean that the prospect does not have any experience. Becoming a lawyer can often be an older prospect deciding to take a second path in life.
Perks of hiring a junior
Hiring a junior can help with tasks such as organisation, planning and filling in skill gaps. Junior lawyers are often adept with the latest technologies and marketing tools such as social media platforms therefore can also advise the law firm as well as the law firm training the prospect. A relatively new lawyer will also have the latest academic legal training experiences and the added bonus that you can train them exactly how you want to as they have not yet developed their own style.
Depending on the junior lawyers level of training, you can often hire a junior lawyer that has already trained at another firm and use this as ‘time to count’ in order to reduce the time of the training contact. Alternatively you can also second a trainee solicitor to another law firm during their contract.
When the duration of the contact is coming to an end, if you decide to offer the trainee a role within the company then you will benefit from their added training and experience.
Emma Dickinson of Whitehead Monckton is an employment law solicitor in Maidstone Kent and has written the article called ‘Young Blood’ on how hiring trainee has raised a number of questions within the legal industry. Read the full article here.