Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment are committed to donating 10% of annual profits to charity. We assist with all types of legal recruitment, from solicitors to paralegals. Register online.

Friday, November 07, 2014

5 Ways to Avoid Recruiting a Duff Candidate

We appreciate entirely the difficulties law firms have when trying to take on new staff. How do you know a candidate is going to stop with your firm and not turn out to scare all your clients away or worst still set up on their own across the road and poach all your existing clients?

The answer is that you don't know what a candidate is going to be like, but you can certainly undertake a few tests. Here are our recommendations:

1. When interviewing, try to make the candidate sweat.
Not literally (you'll probably sweat as well if you turn up the heating!). Try to get them under pressure. Ask awkward questions and probe their answers. Someone who handles you politely and fairly comfortably is probably going to do the same in a work situation. A candidate who gets distressed or aggressive will almost certainly do the same with your clients when faced with confrontation.

2. Get the candidate to meet your staff on the day of interview day.
You may think that you know everything about a person the moment you see them. As the boss it is your duty to make sure you employ staff who are going to either generate income for your firm or support those generating income. However you are not necessarily going to be spending much time with the new staff member and your colleagues may well work out in a few seconds that the new person is unpleasant or impossible to work with. Having a nightmare candidate in the office is not good generally for income generating or morale and you may well find yourself recruiting in a different role if you take on a bully or a headcase!

3. Put the candidate through some file tests.
At interview produce a file or get a case up on your PC - anything you like. Ask the candidate how they would deal with it - give them a few moments to read it (make sure the file is not from a multi-million pound litigation case!) and then ask them to explain what they understand the case to be about and what needs doing or watching out for. This works at all levels - junior admin staff, paralegals and solicitors etc. Again this puts the candidate under pressure and gives you lots of chances to probe further - eg at junior level ask where an attendance note would be found and at senior level ask about a technical issue.

4. Speak to their last employer
Easier said than done, particularly because larger firms now produce references that quite frankly are completely useless. "I can confirm that Bob Carolgees worked with us for 2 years but our policy is not to give any personal information." Great. Really useful for any future employmers. (On an aside - some of these firms expect detailed references from previous posts but thats another issue!). Where a reference is not possible, use a 3 month probation period instead. Speak to us about using our 12 month rebate and payment plan if you have recruited via ourselves.

5. Google them
Have a look online and see what their digital footprint is like. For example, if you search my name online (Jonathan Fagan) you get my youtube films, our websites, a link to my facebook account, linked in profile, twitter feed, a couple of press reports, blog entries and much more. A few clicks into our youtube account reveals what we post and some of this you may or may not appreciate. It gives you a good idea of what a candidate could be like. Not that long ago I clicked onto a candidate's profile to discover that there were lots of pictures of them enjoying a night out a little bit too heavily. Suspect a future employer may not have been too impressed by the pictures of the candidate staggering about a town centre with a bottle of beer!

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New for 2015 - Free Guide to Getting a Training Contract or Work Experience for Law Graduates, Paralegals etc..

We have had a Guide on our Legal Careers Shop for many years, but after 8 years we have decided it is probably time to update and upgrade it, particularly when the previous version talks about writing letters to law firms (no mention of email, which until c.2010 was still alien for a lot of law firms). 

This work is now complete and you can view the guide by visiting our Legal Careers Shop and downloading it. There is no charge and the guide includes the following:

  1. A guaranteed failsafe technique for getting both work experience and a training contract. 
  2. Answers queries you may have about legal recruitment agencies and whether they can help. 
  3. Guides you to improving your chances on getting work experience or a training contract. 
Download the guide at www.legalcareercoaching.co.uk and then visit www.ten-percent.co.uk and read some of the 100s of articles on preparing your CV, completing application forms, attending interviews, tactics for improving response rates to applications, etc.. etc..  It also includes 15% discount codes for all the items in our online shop. There are no catches and no hard sell. It is simply our guide, written in the hope that law students read it and leave us alone!

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Number One Way to Grow your Business Overnight

The Easiest and Quickest Way to Grow your Business
There are 5 ways to grow your business – increase customers, get customers to buy more, increase the value of each transaction, increase prices or increase efficiency.

By far the quickest and easiest way, according to expert pricing accountant Peter Hill, is simply
to increase your prices. He issues a challenge to businesses – if you want to increase your profits in one, easy step, increase your prices by 5% immediately.

A quick example would be a conveyancing quote I recently had. We contacted three law firms to get a price on selling a field (sale transaction is less than £20k) and got quotes of £475, £400 and £200.

Thinking about it now – if the £200 quote had been £210 it still would have been the lowest price, and if I had been a bit distrustful of the low quote I would still have gone with the medium quote with a 5% increase at £420.

Applying this to our own business does not really work, because in recruitment most of our business is on a percentage basis and varies according to the salaries being paid, not the work put in. However to an hourly rate firm (ie a solicitors practice) this could make a big difference.

Assuming your firm (limited company) turned over £100k last year with £60k profits and paid corporation tax at 20% on the profits, you would have managed to make £48k after tax. If you increase your prices by 5% you would have turned over £105k, with £65k profits and made £52k after tax. The extra 5% price would have generated you £4k in net profit.

Not bad for just adjusting your prices slightly upwards.

The downside is of course the annoyed customer who wants to know why the price has just gone up. Peter Hill suggests that you should ignore them and concentrate instead on the vast majority of clients who are happy with the service and as a result will pay to stay.

Are you brave enough to try it? We are going to give it a go with one of our non-recruitment businesses. I’ll keep you posted with the results in 12 months time.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Cut the Clutter on your Desk and Save Valuable Time

Cut the Clutter on your Desk and save time

I recently read an article about saving time – with tips including outsourcing everything you possibly can, delegating as much work as possible and avoiding meetings. One of the tips was to reduce the clutter on your desk because looking for documents and items can take up so much of your time.
These are the three things to do with paperwork on your desk:

1. Delegate It
2. File it
3. Bin it

Apparently most of the stuff we file away never gets seen again and in fact it would have been better to bin it from the outset. There is a professor in the USA who tips all his paperwork each month into a desk drawer and at the end of the month he throws the whole lot into the bin. I think this is extremely brave and would never dare to be so bold, but it is certainly one way to get rid of stuff off your desk!

There should be no paperwork on your desk at the end of the day – instead it should be in a filing tray, an action tray or the bin. Stationery should be in a desk tidy or drawer. Go and buy some trays at lunchtime and invest in a desk tidy for your pens. It makes the world of difference turning up to work to find a blank slate rather than piles of papers.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Friday, June 27, 2014

60% increase in out of hours telephone calls to Solicitors Firms

We received a press release not that long ago from a well known telephone answering service - AlldayPa (www.alldaypa.com - this is not a sponsored link - we don't get paid if you click it - but we are and have been clients for over 10 years now).

They have released figures to say that 'The legal sector has seen a 60% increase in out of hours calls' - which has consequences for many law firms across the country. More and more clients are expecting calls to be answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it seems logical to suppose that this is a direct result of increased online and offline advertising. TV and Radio adverts are becoming commonplace, and it is natural for a client to call straight away, rather than wait for office hours.'

They have not published any figures demonstrating the 60% increase in the past few years (which is as vague as it gets), but the crux of their research is promoting the fact that it may be worth firms considering out of hours call handling services in order to deal with the increased traffic. Not sure the evidence is capable of backing this up, but there we go!

Should you consider an out of hours call handling service? The Law Society seem to have close links with a local company to our North Wales office - Moneypenny are based in Wrexham. They have always been more expensive than other options when we have looked into them and we have explored using a one-man band before now as well to cut costs. 

I have to say that we do not use a call handling service after 5pm. Many years ago we used to answer calls ourselves after 5pm but over time worked out that the vast majority of calls were a complete waste of time and we were spending valuable out of office time worrying about answering telephones. I got fed up of telling LPC graduates to read our website carefully (we don't offer free careers advice over the phone) and taking long calls from senior partners wanting to get market updates and talk about solicitors with following. 

If you are considering an out of hours telephone service then Alldaypa have always been good for us - again I should add that this is not a plug for them. When we have had problems with calls they have been able to listen to recordings and relay to us what went wrong if anything. 

We tend to use them when too many of our staff are out of the office all at one time, or our phone lines are engaged. I would not recommend using them for calls after 5pm as you can start finding the whole experience very costly, and with little reward.

You need to think carefully as to why you would need the service. If you are taking a lot of queries in the evenings should you start an on call rota amongst your solicitors? Its a bit pointless having PAs answering calls and taking messages if people are calling you specifically for quotes there and then, or have an urgent legal query.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

4 in 10 Lawyers would not encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps

A new survey has been commissioned showing that 4 out of 10 solicitors would NOT encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps.

Wesleyan for Lawyers managed to get hold of 103 'lawyers' to conduct this poll, which is pretty poor considering there are over 120,000 solicitors on the Roll in the UK and considerably more support staff and non-qualified fee earners. Very unrepresentative and a bit of a non-news story!

 However I suspect the real figure is something above 60%.

Why? 7 reasons.

  1. I cannot imagine anyone who deals with the Legal Aid Agency wanting to encourage anyone else to follow in their footsteps. 
  2. High street solicitors who have not got to partnership status are unlikely to suggest to anyone else that it really is a good idea to run up debts of £44,000 going through the education and training bits before earning a maximum salary of £40,000 for the remainder of their career. 
  3. City lawyers in my experience seem to hate their jobs, themselves, the long hours and the lack of much of a life, even though they are getting paid considerable sums of money. Whilst they may want to attempt to glamourise their roles in the firms and essentially call it a vocation, I suspect a lot would not suggest following them. 
  4. Newly qualified solicitors outside the Magic Circle firms must look at their loans and overdrafts and wonder how and why on earth they ever got to the position they are in. 
  5. Lawyers who have gone off to work in local authorities and as lecturers must again look at how hard they worked, what they gave up and the debts they have had to work through and pay off and wonder why they ever bothered. 
  6. Partners who spend about 70 hours in the office each week with work at the weekends as well catching up with paperwork are hardly likely to want to encourage anyone else to follow them.
  7. Any lawyer who has the pleasure of regularly dealing with the Courts is not exactly going to speak about their experiences with any glowing reference. 
So assuming there are 120,000 solicitors in England & Wales, I reckon this must surely account for over 60,000 of them. With this in mind, I think the Wesleyan survey is probably not too far away.

How many lawyers have called for a plumber or electrician to come and do some work, discovered their daily rate is not far off and sat back and wondered if only?

There again, if the same poll was undertaken with GPs and consultants, how many of them would encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps?
Are we as professionals always liable to winge about our existence, regardless of how good or bad it is?

Jonathan Fagan is a Solicitor (non-practising) and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Best Legal Job Vacancy ever published by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - 1st April 2014

Best Vacancy ever published by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Here follows the best legal job vacancy we have ever seen. 

To apply, please email cv@ten-percent.co.uk, quoting the reference number AP81L500L. 

Job Title: Lawyer

Qualifications Needed: None - experience matters more. 

Salary: £125,000

Areas of Law: Company Commercial

Job Description: A lawyer is sought to deal with a mixed caseload of company commercial matters as and when they come in. At the moment the firm have no work coming in but expect lots in the future when Saturn comes into the delta currently occupied by Uranus. This is a very laid back firm dating from the 1960s and the partners have a very flexible attitude to free love. Sandals and gowns must be worn in the office.

You will be expected to:
  • Attend the office from 11am to 2pm for 3 days a week.
  • Unlock the doors
  • Switch on the lights
  • Sit at your desk and drink coffee/tea/ovaltine
  • Open a file occasionally
  • Read a book 
  • Eat lunch
  • Snoozing is permitted on a Wednesday between the hours of 12pm and 2pm for a period of no more than 1 hour. 
  • Alcohol can be consumed on Thursdays.
Clients: Multi-millionaires, property developers, people with more money than sense and lumberjacks.

Applications: via a CV to cv@ten-percent.co.uk 


Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

How to Improve Your Efficiency, Make your Business work for you and Turn into a System

I have just finished a business book called "The E-Myth Revisited" by Michael Gerber, a fascinating if not slightly too American book on how to get a business working for you and not vice versa. I should start this article by saying that this is not a sales pitch and I have no financial interest in the book!

Mr Gerber is keen to get people in business to stop and think about what they are doing. His key advice is to view your enterprise as a potential franchise and try to get it working like this as quickly as possible. In this way you can either prepare the company for sale, work out where you need to recruit staff or streamline processes and make the whole operation more efficient. He seems to be using some of the Six SIgma techniques that I am sure practice managers are starting to become aware of these days.

Firstly take a look at yourself and your business. Why are you working? What are you working for? Does your current job or company give you the scope to achieve your aims? If not, why not?

Secondly, draw up an Organisation Chart. Write out all the different roles you have within the business. For example, most smaller law firms will probably find that within their firm there are the following posts: Accounts Manager, Accounts Clerk, Receptionist, PA, Secretary, Marketing Manager, Business Development Manager, Sales Director, Solicitor, Paralegal, IT Director, Office Cleaner, Maintenance Fitter, Purchasing Officer, Supply Chain Manager. Naturally most sole practitioners will undertake all of the above apart from the secretary post!

Once you have written out the chart, work out how much you and your colleagues should be doing for each role and what scope there is either to outsource or employ other staff. How many hours are you spending in each position? Is there scope to reduce your hours in those positions that are non-profitable?

Finally have a look at your systems. Do you have systems in place that enable completely untrained and inexperienced employees to run certain sections of your business without any involvement from you or other managers? For example, does the receptionist work to a system of processing each telephone call in the same way. If they are booking a new appointment do they go through a process of handling queries or concerns - eg car parking when visiting the offices, avoiding too much talk on price and more on quality, taking down the source of the referral, know enough about your operations to be able to answer any initial queries - for example which fee earner will be dealing with the client from the outset? If not, can all of this be put into a protocol (borrowing an overused term from the TV series 24) and adhered to every time a new call is made? Is there a system for ensuring that clients are only kept waiting on the phone for a maximum of 3 minutes before a receptionist guarantees a call back. Do you have an online system in place to enable clients to log in and check progress on their case?

Once everything has been transformed into procedures and systems you can take more of a development role than a hands on role. Mr Gerber talks about changing lives by using this technique. Looking at my current workload and trying to think about going through this process I have to say it is probably a question of considerably changing a very strong mindset!

Jonathan Fagan is a solicitor, qualified recruitment consultant and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. His LinkedIn profile can be viewed here - www.linkedin.com/in/jbfagan

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.
Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession. To visit our Sale/Clearance section please click here.
www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Predictions from a Psychic for 2013 Revisited - how many did he get right?

A Psychic's 2013 New Year Predictions Revisited

Last year we carried an article in our January Newsletter about predictions for 2013 by an expert  online psychic, Craig Hamilton-Parker (taken from www.psychics.co.uk). We have also included his 2014 predictions below to see how he does when we revisit in 2015.

Mr Hamilton-Parker charges £1.53 per minute for his services, and looking at this list I suspect it is money well spent.

Online Psychic Predictions for 2013 - how many did Craig get right?
1. War in the Middle East - February. Israel will attack Iran. Incorrect. Thank goodness.
2. Terrorist attack on Chicago in the summer. 1/2 marks - Boston in April.3. Syrian uprising to continue. Iran to invade. 1/2 marks. Iran hasn't invaded.4. Poor grain harvest to occur in Russia. Incorrect. Up 30% on 2012.
5. Robert Mugabe will be assassinated in the Autumn. Incorrect.
6. Revolution in China - June 2013. China to split up. Incorrect.
7. Google will be attacked by terrorists. Incorrect.
8. Search engine to be released in Europe - funded by the EU. Incorrect.9. Spain's economy to fall apart. Incorrect. 10. Ed Milliband to be replaced by Yvette Cooper. Incorrect.11. Nick Clegg to fight off a challenge from Vince Cable. Incorrect. 12. Victoria Beckham to launch a range of maternity clothing. Not entirely sure so half marks!
13. Kate Middleton to announce she is pregnant in May 2013. Impossible.
14. Simon Cowell to become more spiritual. Is there any way of assessing this?

Total score (allowing for the Victoria Beckham maternity wear prediction as it is not clear whether or not she has produced a range): 2 out of 14.

Craig's predictions for 2014:
1. The Dalai Lama will be taken seriously ill.
2. Pope Francis will initiate a new spiritual mission to help the mentally ill.
3. Syria will be partitioned into Alawite and Sunni provinces. Assad will go into hiding.
4. Gunman rampage in Kansas. Similar attack on the London underground.
5. Strange luminous plankton seen under the sea that cannot be explained by scientists.
6. Remains of an ancient civilisation uncovered in Greenland.
7. Oprah Winfrey launches new spiritual chat show bringing many world religious leaders to book.
8. UK postal strikes backed by other trade unions and transport brought to a standstill.
9. Nick Clegg resigns
10. Massive fire in Mexico City
11. New Orleans flooded again
12. Factory explodes in Southern USA causing a chemical cloud.
13. Australia has biggest bush fire ever.
14. Japan builds a nuclear bomb
15. US economy soars ahead.
16. Massive riots at the Brazilian World Cup.

These are taken from www.psychic.co.uk.

If you would like to make your own predictions for 2014 please add your comment to this article. We will then revisit all of them in January 2015. 

See if you can beat the psychic!!





Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment
- Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.

Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession. To visit our Sale/Clearance section please click here.
www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop
 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Law Students - Make a New Years Resolution not to get a 2.2 degree or Suffer the Consequences for the Rest of your Career

A message for all law students in their 1st, 2nd or even 3rd year. 

Make one New Years Resolution as follows:

"I will not get a 2.2 degree. I will work harder and get a 2.1."

In fact you could make two resolutions - the other resolution would be to get as much legal work experience as you possibly can but this does not add as much to your career at this stage as the first resolution so we will stick with this!

If you do not get a 2.1 or 1st class degree (and it seems a lot easier these days at certain Universities to get the latter), your legal career will be damaged. Forever. And Ever. And Ever More.

'What a load of nonsense' I hear you say. 
'Why would my career be affected in 20 years time by a degree I get when I am 21 years old?'

Why indeed! Unfortunately the legal profession is relatively easy to enter at a certain level, but very difficult to enter at another level. The difference is the salary you will earn for the rest of your career.

If you are happy earning £20,000 to £30,000 for pretty much the remainder of your career (until you are 65 years old) feel free to not bother working very hard at your degree and get a 2.2 or even worse a 3rd.

Chances are you will end up doing paralegal jobs for about 5 years, followed by a training contract you may well have managed to source courtesy of your paralegal work. When you qualify and apply for other firms who will pay you more than £15,000 some will reject you. Those that do not are likely to only offer you between £20,000 and £30,000. After about 3-4 years you will apply for other jobs, advertised at better pay levels, and be unpleasantly surprised when you get rejected. It may be that the firm you are applying to do not like your first firm, but more likely they will take one look at your degree and decide you are a bit of a slacker.

If you are not happy earning £20,000 to £30,000 do yourself a favour and work harder. It will change your life. Honestly.

Barristers

I won't even go near the barrister side of the profession. OK you've talked me into it.

Got a 2.2, no family links, not head boy or girl, not captain of the rugby or netball team or national champion debater coupled with no quality legal work experience in Chambers that lasted more than 5 days? Don't even bother doing the BPTC. Unless you are a glutton for lots of punishment and unrewarded effort coupled with forking out for the LPC as well as the BPTC once you have finished.


'I don't care, I'll just work as a legal executive.' 

Of course you will. After all, firms are crying out for lots of underqualified legal executives with 2.2 law degrees and no legal work experience. Legal executives tend to be grafters who have worked their way up through the ranks - secretaries, PAs, unqualified fee earners. Very few make the decision to become an ILEX out of choice. People tend to fall into this route and there is nothing wrong with this. However doing a law degree is not really going to push your career forward very much when going down this route.


A Horror Story
Let me tell you a horror story in one last effort to make you realise how important my advice above is.

I have recently been recruiting for a specialist solicitor post with a Tier 1 Legal 500 law firm. The field of law will stay anonymous at this stage. The firm require someone with about 4-5 different areas of expertise, most of which any solicitor working in any law firm in the country in this field of law will have. Salary levels are probably 50-75% higher than these candidates will get elsewhere. We have had applications from all types of candidates; those with outstanding experience in some areas and some from those with a bit of experience of all the areas.

However a lot of candidates have been unpleasantly surprised by instant rejection. We have even had telephone calls from indignant candidates asking why we haven't progressed them. I'll let you into a secret... this firm only recruit candidates with consistent academic achievement, even though they are looking at solicitors with 10-20 years PQE (PQE stands for Post Qualified Experience).

Consistent academic achievement means a minimum 2.1 degree classification plus good A levels (or equivalent). It does not mean a 2.2 degree followed up by a masters degree to try and hide the 2.2 degree as this is not academically consistent.

So even though perhaps it shouldn't, your law degree has an effect on you for the rest of your career. Get used to it. You are entering one of the most rigid professions in the country (after doctors and dentists) and getting a 2.1 degree is yet another burning hoop you have to jump through.

Does a 2.2 make a difference to who you are? I am not sure about that but whether this is right or wrong we do notice from time to time that candidates with poor or low academic results are more likely to have a grammatical or spelling mistake on their CV. Does this follow through into the candidate's work? Who knows. However legal employers seem to think so....

Jonathan Fagan, Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and Interim Lawyers.


Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.

Our Legal Careers Shop has eBooks on CV Writing for Lawyers, Legal Job Interview Guide, Interview Answers for Lawyers, NQ Career Guide, Guide to Finding Work Experience or a Training Contract and the Entrants Guide to the Legal Profession.

www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop