05 July 2019

Magic circle's Oxbridge blues

New report reveals almost a third of Magic Circle law graduates drawn from Oxbridge. Meanwhile Trowers & Hamlins reports retaining its trainees.

By Dr David Cowan

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Research from the Chambers Student Guide shows 76 per cent of trainee lawyers at the UK’s leading 139 law firms are Oxford University, Cambridge University and Russell Group graduates.

Report findings

Chambers interviewed 2,500 trainee lawyers over the last three years. The report revealed 31.4 per cent of trainee lawyers at London’s elite Magic Circle firms went to Oxbridge, whose students make up less than one per cent annual graduates. Non-Oxbridge Russell Group universities made up 46.7 per cent of Magic Circle trainees, 13.1 per cent came from other UK institutions and 8.8 per cent were educated overseas. US law firms in London took 24.4 per cent of their trainees from Oxbridge, with 50 per cent from others in Russell Group, 16.5 per cent from other UK institutions and nine per cent from overseas.

Strong retention

Also on the trainee front, Trowers & Hamlins says it is pleased with its retention rate as they retain 10 of its 12 trainees qualifying this autumn. The 10 individuals will take up positions across four of the firm's offices in the banking and finance, corporate, commercial litigation, real estate and projects and construction departments. Anna Clark, partner and Training Principal at Trowers & Hamlins, commented “We are pleased that our retention rate has remained strong this year and would like to welcome our newly qualified solicitors, who have worked extremely hard throughout their training contacts. We are sure that they will make an outstanding contribution to the firm as they embark upon the next stage of their legal careers with Trowers & Hamlins.”

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