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Reports that both trainee intakes and NQ salaries are on the rise should be taken with a pinch of salt, writes Natasza Slater

22 September 2015

This summer has seen law firms engaged in a battle for the brightest and most capable students to join their trainee cohorts. A number of firms have increased their trainee and newly qualified (NQ) salaries to dizzying figures, which have been splashed across the legal press.

For some, the prospect of earning over £70,000 as an NQ (Hogan Lovells, Slaughter and May, and Clifford Chance all recently increased their NQ salaries to this amount) may be too tempting to resist. We may, in turn, see a rise in students opting for law as a profession.

Additionally, a number of firms have announced they will be bolstering their trainee intake for the forthcoming years. Together with rising salaries, it appears that the recession years, comprising miserable retention rates for NQs and dreaded training contract deferrals, are well and truly a thing of the past.

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