Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Alternative ways to work for solicitors

In the last few weeks, we have seen large numbers of redundancies across the board. Every day a new area will see solicitors registering for work. It seems to be sporadic that one day it could be Hull, another day Guildford, for as firms shed capacity and downsize in order to survive the fall in the market, there are rather are rather a lot of lawyers out of work. Some of them, in particular, conveyancing solicitors in the current climate have no prospect of sourcing new work, as there is nothing out there for them to consider. People simple do not have the need for conveyancers when the market is so poor. However, we are starting to see new possibilities opening in terms of ways for solicitors to work. A quick example of this, is the rise in commission only posts. Basically this means that you work for a firm for nothing, well, almost nothing. You are paid according to results, so if you find work and do it, the firm pay you commission. This means that they do not need to risk paying you a salary and finding that they run out of money each month, when there is no work to go with the salary and it also means that people get to continue working.

One of the difficulties in the current market is that there is work to be had in some areas, in terms of overspends in the past and hence, have got too many overheads to cover in order to take on staff to do the work. Using a commission only structure, it is possible to take on more staff to generate business and service the work that is coming in.

However it is not to everyone’s liking, and particularly stressful if you are someone with a mortgage and other commitments. The problem is that firms are in a similar position, and senior partners of firms similarly need to cover their overheads and pay their mortgages and in the current climate, on the high street are simply unable to recruit staff on salaries on the whole.

It is certainly something to consider if you are someone needing to work, and struggling to find anything at all. If you think you may be able to generate some work simply by joining a firm and touting for business in the local area, it is certainly a possibility to consider. It also means that you continue to work in the downturn in the market and when are looking for work, you will not have gaps on your CV. For employers, it is something to consider if wanting to expand but worried about the possibility of committing to more salaries, if the market stays down and business does not pick up. The disadvantage of using commission only staff is that it takes a certain sort of person to do that work and it may be that at some point the member of staff decides to leave and set up on their own and take all the profits from their work as opposed to giving you any.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment, online specialists for legal recruitment for solicitors in the commercial and high street sectors. You can contact Jonathan Fagan at or visit the website.

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