Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What does a locum solicitor do?

01.08.07 What is a locum Solicitor?

We occasionally run series of articles on this site with a different theme, and this one is all about what different types of law actually mean... at this time of year, we get a lot of calls from would-be trainee solicitors hunting for holiday work, vacation placements and training contracts, and most probably have very little idea as to the reality of life as a solicitor in a certain field.

A locum solicitor is a lawyer who works on a short term basis only - sometimes for a few hours, and other times for a few years - to cover for absent members of staff.
Commonly used in local authorities, where staff always seem to require more cover than in private practice (I would imagine this has something to do with the almost impossible working conditions at times, the state of the management in some local authorities, but also the fact that government employers do tend to be slightly better at covering for absent staff than private practice, where at times fee earners can come back to find their desks smothered in paperwork!).

Often a locum solicitor will be self employed, and contract directly with a firm for their services. They will charge a daily or weekly rate for their work. Locums can range from NQ level solicitors up to 45 years PQE +. It usually suits people looking for some flexibility - eg sportsmen and women, or semi-retired practitioners.
A locum will usually be expected to pick up a caseload and run with it, sorting out anything urgent for anything not requiring work on it, and very often they are left to their own devices to get on with it.

The main disadvantage with the set up is that you can find yourself without work for 3 months out of every 12, which is the rule of thumb that most locums work to.
Pay can be varied, ranging from anything around £120 per day for an NQ dealing at a junior level, up to £400 for someone very senior on the commercial side.

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us!

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