Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, February 15, 2008

Diversity at law firms

"After some discussions it seems as if a lot of firms bring diversity to assessment days, but choose young people to fill the spots. What do you think? What are your experiences?"

Response

My experience is not the same as this. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment operate in both a larger practice and high street setting, and as such we see quite a mix of practices and lawyers coming through. The number of older trainees qualifying is actually quite high, and it is not just high street firms that employ them. If you think about the function of a trainee, which is to learn how to be a solicitor, but at most firms also to generate income, the older trainees will understand more about the latter, and also when talking to clients, actually look a lot wiser and more experienced than the younger ones. I have also come across firms who have asked for recently qualified solicitors, but not ones who have come straight through from school, as they want someone mature enough to handle the job. Again, this is more the sort of scenario one would find with the age discrimination legislation of recent times! I have found over the years that Eversheds particularly encourage more mature applicants, or at least my perception is such that I have seen more of a number of mature applicants who have trained there than at other practices.

You need to concentrate on your own skills and attributes, and try to put out of your head any perceived disadvantages you have. Many years ago, when I was applying for training contracts, I found that the mix of people at interviews and assessment days was such that you couldn't identify a particular type of person who would be the perfect "fit" at a practice.

Jonathan Fagan

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