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Under the current system, in the City at least, trainees are recruited two years before needed, so generally before they have completely committed to either GDL or LPC (which many City firms will offer to sponsor). In other words, generally City trainees do know before starting their expensive law courses whether or not they have a TC/PRT.

Obviously this isn't everyone by any means, and the arrangements can be changed, as in the slowdown in work a year or two after Lehmans which led to postponements and a reduction in recruiting.

It's a bit of a chancy business identifying 'best candidates': raw brain power alone isn't enough. Other qualities such as empathy and common sense can be useful too.

Historically, over the last 20 years or so, around 20% of 2PQE solicitors leave the profession, with another smaller cohort leaving around 5PQE.

I too have reservations over the proposed new qualification regime, and how it (or any system) can work to the LSB's satisfaction, if it considers the current system deeply flawed. It ain't perfect, but it sort of works, and much of the difficulty lies in the vagaries of business life and predicting reliably what a firm's staff requirements will be perhaps years ahead of time.

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