Hundreds of applications from aspiring lawyers have been whittled down to six as competition for training contracts remains high.
Half a dozen graduates are set to embark on their legal careers with the Birmingham office of law firm Mills & Reeve after they were selected from more than 400.
It comes as a number of firms have radically overhauled their selection procedures in a bid to weed out weak applicants due to the level of applicants.
The firm has also offered full-time solicitor posts to all six of its trainees from 2008, following the completion of their training contracts: Chris Bartley, Fiona Hargreaves, David Hawkins, Nick Hughes, Laura Kealey and James Richards begin working as solicitors from this month.
A further three newly qualified solicitors, who undertook their training elsewhere in the firm’s regional network, are moving to Birmingham to practise.
Guy Hinchley, managing partner at Mills & Reeve. said: “In a year when many law firms cut back on their trainees we decided to continue our investment in new talent. We had a record number of applicants and those who succeeded in being offered a contract did so against enormous odds.
“Our trainee intake in 2008 across all of our offices was 23 and we are pleased to have offered jobs to 21. In Birmingham, we are delighted to have offered permanent jobs to the entire class of 2008.”
Meanwhile some firms have made their application process more difficult. Additions include exercises to test ‘intellectual ability’, an online judgement test and a logical reasoning test.
Pinsent Masons which has an office in Birmingham has introduced a telephone interview element to its recruitment process.
But the firm’s graduate recruitment manager Edward Walker has denied that the extra test is just another hoop for candidates to jump through.
“This is for candidates to prove that they’re right for the firm beyond a piece of paper,” insisted Mr Walker.
The successful six – Mehdi Seadon, Miranda Holmes, Darryn Hale, Nicola Seymour, Sarah Wearmouth and Ben Howell are pictured.