Belt-tightening takes its toll as newly qualified recruits dip 6%
The number of newly qualified (NQ) lawyers accepting roles at the UK's top 20 law firms has fallen 6% year-on-year as the effects of the uncertain market continue to be felt at the lower end of the profession. In total 672 NQs took up roles at the top 20 firms this year, a drop of 6.3% on the autumn 2012 qualifying round, in which 717 lawyers were recruited, according to research by Legal Week. The trend reflects a broader dip in the number of qualifying lawyers this year, with cutbacks in firms' graduate recruitment during the worst of the downturn now playing out further down the line. There was a total of 825 qualifying lawyers across the group this autumn, down 7% from last year's figure of 887, with firms including Eversheds, Herbert Smith Freehills and Simmons & Simmons all seeing a decrease in the number of NQs coming through the ranks this year.
Number of lawyers qualifying at top 20 drops 7% year-on-year
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