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Flexible training contracts take off in London

Option to trial trainees attracts magic-circle law firms

6 September 2012

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Flora Hussey has become the first trainee to start a flexible solicitor training contract, which will include a placement at a top-20 City firm.

She is employed under the Accutrainee model, which is based upon a monthly secondment fee.

Hussey, who converted to law from history, began her training contract at London private client practice New Quadrant Partners at the end of the summer. She will also spend three months at a top-20 City law firm focusing on contentious work.

Under the model launched last September, trainees are employed by Accutrainee and seconded to legal practices for their training contracts. Trainees can remain at one firm for the duration of their contract or rotate between different firms, depending upon individual and firm needs.

Accutrainee’s model, which allows law firms to trial trainees, has attracted interest from magic circle firms right through to small law firms, CEO Susan Cooper told Managing Partner.

“We are trying to put very exceptional trainees into this process,” she said, noting that Accutrainee’s candidate screening process includes a competency-based interview, presentation and written exercise. Candidates also receive feedback, mentoring and coaching.

“Our candidates are very different from second-year law graduates, as many are career changers or have some in-house or paralegal experience. We look at fresh graduates as well, but many candidates are more experienced and have better commercial awareness because of first-hand experience.”

All trainees are required to sign strict confidentiality agreements.

Accutrainee is authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as a training establishment.

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