This is a question we are getting asked every day at present by NQs calling. Our usual advice is to register with up to 3 agencies around now or at least in the next month (we would prefer you just to register with ourselves of course - or at least giving one agent a couple of weeks before contacting others), and not to panic until August if you havent got a post lined up (you then need to start some serious searching!). This relates specifically to solicitors on the high street and in the regions - we know a lot of the agencies produce wonderful glossy pamphlets telling you all about the salary you should be expecting, but the vast majority do this based on their experiences with the larger practices, not the smaller varieties we deal with, and most of the bumpf I have read tends to be irrelevant.
Firstly speak to your own firm and find out what they have to offer - loyalty, a bit of PQE and familiarity are all positive attributes during your career. Understandably quite a few NQ solicitors want to move immediately having found the training contract experience a complete nightmare...
Secondly, have a careful think about what you want at PQE level - are you really looking for a post in conveyancing, or is your ambition to get into another field - be careful you dont make the wrong decision - it is very hard after 12 months etc.. to move out of your area and into another one.
Thirdly, send your CV through to us - we can see whether there is anything ongoing at present, and also keep you updated with legal jobs coming in. Legal recruitment is a bit of an art in itself - often we get hints and knowledge from insiders telling us where posts may be cropping up. Your details get added to our databases (anonymity assured) for firms to search as well.
Finally, don't jump at the first offer coming your way - think carefully about all options. It doesn't pay to take anything that comes in, although if the post feels absolutely right, the money and location are good and you would be mad to turn it down, then you may well do!
Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online UK legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and let us do the work - register online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm