Recently, the Gazette published two pieces about the legal career path from two different angles. The first, a 2 August article entitled ‘Students “pessimistic” about training contracts’, provided an analysis of the oversupply of graduates compared with the number of training contracts. The second, a blog entitled ‘Later start to lawyering’, highlighted that prior commercial experience is of increasing importance to firms when hiring trainees. What these articles have in common is that they, like much industry-wide debate, do not factor the in-house career path into their discussion.

We know that more than a quarter of qualified solicitors work in-house. Working alongside them are a large number of academically, though not professionally, qualified lawyers (that is, LLB and LPC graduates). Research by FreshMinds Legal (published by the Gazette) shows that the majority of GCs predict that in-house legal teams will grow in size over the next three years. This will provide alternative opportunities for those who seek a legal career but who are unable to secure a training contract.

The blog rightly highlights the value of commercial experience to a legal career. We would add that commercial experience and a legal career need not be mutually exclusive – in-house opportunities provide a valuable combination of the two.

Roshana Gammampila, head of FreshMindsLegal, London