in Training Contracts, Pupillage and Work Experience

Is it possible to get your own training contract?

—–Original Message—–
Sent: 19 March 2013 17:15
To: Jonathan Fagan
Subject: Setting up a law firm

To whom it may concern,

I am currently doing my LPC, and me and a few of my friends want to set up a law firm. We understand how difficult this can be and the financial implications but none of us have training contracts despite all our experience. We were looking to start up our own firm in any event. I saw from this website that this was possible of you recruit a qualified solicitor to then give you a training contract.

Was wondering if you could give me any more detail on this, how we would go about doing this etc.

Thanks a lot,

An LPC student


Our answer


Yes, this is possible. To give you an idea of the costs of a 3 year PQE solicitor to supervise an office (and you) – you could probably get away with paying about £15,000 per annum for someone for 2.5-3 days per week, depending on the area of law and the level of experience.

Setting up and running a law firm is not an easy task, and remember that in order to make it work you would need to generate some business, otherwise you would have no files on which to train! Most sole practitioners work 60-70 hour weeks for the first few years they set up, and for good reason (and not a lot of reward).

Generating business will be the hard bit. Finding a solicitor to run the office should be fairly easy – basically anyone with more than 3 years PQE (post-qualified experience) and a couple of mickey mouse ‘jump through the hoops’ Law Society courses on management is capable of supervising you.

Of course, you will need someone able to train you as well, although being that the quality of a good chunk of training contracts is nothing short of abysmal, I wouldnt worry too much about this side of things…

The only major cost would be the professional indemnity insurance. Depending on the areas of law covered you are looking about £3,000-£6,000 depending on the number of staff you end up with. This would need paying monthly, and can make a rather large dent in your finances.

So if you have about £20,000 between you, plus your costs of living, there is theoretically nothing to stop you employing a solicitor to run a practice to employ you as a trainee solicitor (getting approved for training appears to be a tick box exercise) and qualify….

Hope this helps! If you want us to assist in finding a solicitor to train you once you have decided to set up a law firm, please let me know.

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at