Every year we produce a set of statistics about the traineeship which allow us to take a 'temperature check' of entry to the profession.

These statistics are designed for anyone curious about the traineeship market, whether you're a job seeker trying to get a steer for levels of competition or potential opportunities, or an employer wanting to get a feel for the traineeship market.

These statistics represent the number of traineeships that the Law Society of Scotland registered in the practice year 2022/23. Please note that the practice year runs from 1 November - 31 October each year. We release updated statistics annually, towards the end of each calendar year.

Overview of 2022/23 trainee statistics

This year's figures are down ever so slightly from last year but are still the second highest ever on record.  It’s the third consecutive year of having around 750 trainees starting. Largely speaking, in terms of breakdown, the spread of traineeships looks very similar to previous years.

  • 753 standard training contracts were commenced in the practice year 2022/23, compared to 769 in 2021/22 (representing a 2% decrease).   
  • The gender split for traineeships commenced in 2022/23 was approximately 69% female, 29% male, with a little over 1% not answering. This is reflective of the five-year average of 67% to 31%.  In each of the last five years, more than double the number of people identifying as female have entered the profession than those who identify as male.

  • The percentage of training contracts commenced by local authority area were very similar to last year. 83% of all traineeships were started in the four major Scottish cities (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee) compared to 80% last year. Edinburgh and Glasgow continue to account for over 70% of all traineeships.  However, in numerical terms, this means that there were around 220 traineeships started elsewhere in Scotland.

  • In-house traineeships accounted for 11% of traineeships in 2022/23 compared to 10% in 2021/22 and 12% the year before that. In real terms, it was an increase of 5 in-house traineeships (75 in 2021/22 to 80 in 2022/23). 

  • The percentage of traineeships commenced at firms with 1-5 partners in 2022/23 was 32% (down slightly from 36% in 2021/22). This was the same figure (32%) as the number of traineeships commenced at firms with 31+ partners.  This represents a similar split to the previous five years.

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Additional information

If you would like to discuss any aspect of our traineeship statistics, please contact our careers@lawscot.org.uk. Or, if you would like to discuss any aspect of the traineeship more generally, please contact legaleduc@lawscot.org.uk.

The traineeship

Finish your legal education by learning 'on the job' working as a trainee under the supervision of a Scots-qualified solicitor. Traineeships last for a period of two years and, after its successful completion, you are ready to apply to take out a solicitor's practising certificate.