Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Friday, December 03, 2010

Recruitment News for Candidates December 2010



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

Legal Careers News December 2010



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



Legal Recruitment News December 2010



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



Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Salary Reviews for Crime and Duty Solicitors 1st December 2010

We have had a number of placements and interviews prior to the deadline for the recent CDS12 submission which give us the following ranges for duty solicitors and crime solicitors. Salary levels for crime solicitors currently as follows:

England & Wales (excluding London)
Duty Solicitors : £30,000-£37,500. We had no firms this year indicate or offer above £37,500 outside London for a duty solicitor.
Duty Solicitors with Higher Rights: £32,500-£45,000.
Crime Solicitors without Duty Status: £23,000-£30,000. The top end of this scale is slightly distorted.
Police Station Reps: £17,500-£21,000.

London
Duty Solicitors : £35,000-£40,000. We did not get any firms this year indicate or offer above £40,000 in London for a duty solicitor.
Duty Solicitors with Higher Rights: £40,000-£57,500. We anticipate that the top end of this scale will come down as more solicitors get their higher rights over the next 2-3 years.
Crime Solicitors without Duty Status: £25,000-£30,000. Most of these were for crime solicitors with police station accreditation.
Police Station Reps: £17,500-£23,000.
White Collar Solicitors : £35,000-£75,000. Range varies widely according to the firm and the percentage of LSC funded VHCC work.

Duty Solicitor Consultants:
We have come across a range of deals this year for consultants that have included the following:
£1,000 signing on fees.
20% fee share on own cases introduced to a firm.
100% police station and court rota payments (fairly standard these days across London, but not in the regions).
£15-25 per hour for case preparation work and own client work.
Duty Solicitor slots exchanged for chance to undertake other fields of law.
70-80% on all work undertaken
100% of all work undertaken (this deal was with a firm about to lose their crime department if they didn't get a duty solicitor in time).

Recently registered Crime Solicitors currently looking for work:
Duty Solicitor looking in Yorkshire, Bristol and Bath. 5+ years PQE.
Crime Solicitor with police station accreditation. Able to assist with Employment Law as well. 3 years PQE. London.
Duty Solicitor with Higher Rights looking the West Midlands, South West and South Wales. 5+ years PQE.
Duty Solicitor looking in London. Looking to work for a medium sized practice. 3 years PQE. Salaried posts.
Crime Solicitor with police station accreditation and advocacy experience. London. 1.5 year PQE. £25k+.

Access our Candidate Database - no agency involvement
Contact as many of our crime candidates (or any candidate for any field of law) as you want to for a fixed annual fee. Over 8,000 candidates registered including solicitors, barristers, legal executives, fee earners, legal cashiers, practice managers and support staff. We already have a number of medium sized crime practices signed up for this service. For further details please visit http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/low-cost-legal-recruitment.html (special offer available until 17th December 2010).

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



Friday, November 12, 2010

Duty Solicitor Loses Chance to Work

One of our candidates who has been registered with us for years who regularly gets in touch has recently been in touch to tell us that due to no fault of his own he has been unable to work for the past 4 months because of problems with the Legal Services Commission and a firm he had agreed to lodge his duty slots with.

In May this candidate signed a CDS12 and submitted it to the Legal Services Commission for a specific firm in London. In June he discovered that the firm had had their contract terminated, reasons not known, and as a result the CDS12 was rejected.

He spoke to the Legal Services Commission who informed him that there was nothing they could do because the deadline had gone and that he would have to work for another firm as a duty solicitor. The candidate tried explaining to the Legal Services Commission that a duty solicitor without slots is not much use to anybody and the Legal Services Commission helpfully suggested that he could apply to go on the back-up list for duty work.

When the candidate asked for the reasons why the firm had had their contract terminated, he was informed that it was confidential information as the firm have appealed the Legal Service Commission’s decision.

Fortunately the candidate has a clause in his contract with the firm that says that if the slots were not awarded to him the firm would have to pay him a retainer, and there is currently litigation ongoing as of course the firm have denied liability and claimed frustration of contract.

A few interesting points arise out of this sorry tale in that firstly the way the contracts are organised means that although duty solicitors get slots on rotas according to the area they are based in and the firm they are with, they are totally dependant on the firm’s contract as for the next year at least, firms can only be on duty solicitor rotas in the areas they contracted for. Furthermore, a duty solicitor seems to own their own slots in one sense but are dependent on the financial stability of the firm they work for in order to work and do not have any freedom really to simply work their slots themselves or transfer them to another firm.

There must be an issue somewhere in all of this of restraint of trade as the Legal Services Commission have effectively tied duty solicitors to firms for six month periods and prevented them from moving?

Furthermore, it was interesting to note that whilst the Legal Services Commission were happy to extend deadlines to allow more applicants when it suited them, they were very rigid with this candidate as to apply their own rules of deadlines for refusing to let him put slots with another firm following the demise of the contract of the firm this candidate had signed with.

The Legal Services Commission and Legal Aid system appear to have descended into an almighty sorry mess and I wonder whether it is time just to put the whole thing out of its misery and try a public defender service that is not overrun by a couple of law practices who appear to be sweeping the crime market with the senior partners making rather a lot of money out of the Legal Services Commission’s inability to understand the workings of law firms.

One of the main problems crime solicitors have is that most of the firms appear to be operated by senior partners who have had to work harder and harder to make a good profit out of the dwindling payments, and this has almost always resulted in cutthroat operations with firms constantly competing against each other.

Years ago I can remember being sat in a meeting of crime solicitors in Nottingham who were discussing the new contract provisions coming in at the time and trying to work out who was going to make a stand and refuse to sign and who was going to sign. It was pretty obvious that the larger players in the city were going to sign come what may regardless of their protestations at the meeting, and that anyone who did not sign would simply lose their contracts and the larger firms would gain contracts.

Lawyers have a problem when trying to oppose any government decisions because most senior partners are businessmen and if they sense the chance to make money they will do. This means that there is no collective opposition at any time to anything as there is always somebody very happy to step into the breach and make significant sums of money at the expense of everyone else.

Perhaps this is why a public defender service may be the way forward, although obviously as a recruitment consultant it is the last thing on earth that I would want! Similarly the standard of service of the PDS was apparently pretty shoddy and rather expensive.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment.

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

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Legal Recruitment News for Law Firms available online

Hello - our latest version of the Legal Recruitment News is available online at www.ten-percent.co.uk/Legal-Recruitment-News-Nov-2010.pdf

You can also visit our www.legal-recruitment.co.uk website for further details of our online journal.

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



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Solicitors from Hell - a genuine customer service, a scam or absolute b**ll**ks?

http://www.solicitorsfromhell.com/ is a new consumer website that has attracted the attention of the Law Society Gazette and numerous solicitors firms who have had the pleasure of an entry on it. There appear to be over 500 law firms listed on it, and as far as I could see most of the complaints were not really complaints but fairly damaging comments...

I recently came across it when looking for a firm of solicitor's contact details and discovered the second entry in Google was this site. The review of the firm read as follows:

LEGAL LAW - London SW
London SW

Solicitor : Legal Eagle (details changed for obvious reasons!)

" Unfortunately we have only just heard about this site, had we had a chance to do a check on him prior it would have saved a great deal of upset and stress. My female cousin went to see this ‘solicitor’ with housing problems. At the initial consultation he was extremely friendly – actually overly so when his secretary went out of the room.

He asked many personal questions that were not actually relevant to the case in question and gave out information about what he had allegedly done to help other clients. He kept going on about her being a young vulnerable woman and stated that he was going to take several actions on her behalf as she was being harassed by the landlord.

However as my cousin felt uncomfortable seeing him alone she asked me to come to the next meeting. When he saw that she was accompanied by a male family member, he was abrupt and tried to give the impression that he had not really wanted to take her on as a client in the first instance. He stated that she did not need the help of a solicitor – however this had not stopped him from applying for and receiving the legal aid to progress her case.

He wrote a long letter of summery allegedly to explain ‘why’ she did not need his help - which was actually more like a personal tirade against his own client and told her to make a complaint if she felt she had the strength! It was then difficult to find another solicitor to transfer the LSF to; luckily the solicitor my cousin then found was extremely professional, helpful and progressed a speedy resolution on her behalf.

Only use this firm if you want to be disappointed and put under stress. Not to be trusted!! "

I am not quite sure what the complainant's complaint is having read it through a few times - is it that the solicitor was not only from hell but also a bit of a creep? Was the solicitor trying to defraud the LSC? Does this feedback assist anyone in deciding whether to hire this firm of solicitors or not?

The service obviously provides a genuine service when you get a firm like SMK Solicitors, who are now shut down due to a range of problems and have been intervened. A site with feedback detailing the potential fraud that a client experienced would be helpful for anyone else to know to avoid it.

However read the feedback on a law firm in the South West:

"I worked at X (thankfully not for long). A good example of the way the firm operates is when I was told to create as much conflict as possible in child contact cases in order to maximise costs. This firm definitely needs some intervention from the Law Society. The Senior Partners are a joke and would not survive in a modern law firm. It is true, they are fascist bullies. Oh, and where I work now, I am allowed to make myself a cup of coffee! "

This sort of entry could be put down to a former employee airing a grievance and trying to get one over on the firm. They have certainly done this. The firm in question obviously now have anyone thinking of instructing them and reading this that the staff do not like working there, the firm is bent, the partners not very nice. It could damage that firm's reputation forever. I certainly had no idea that the firm were thought of in this way, and we introduced one of the partners mentioned to the firm many years ago!

I understand that unless a law firm pays an "administration fee" of £200 then the entry remains on the site for eternity. This means that anyone searching for the law firm will inevitably come across comments like this one.

Think of the black hat marketing potential of this site. Any law firm in Swindon for example could post anonymous comments onto the site for their competitors and sit back and watch their instructions increase. Obviously this comment is intended as irony....(before we get sued!).

So in summary I am afraid we think that the site is b**ll**ks. There has been no effort to identify the posters, and this makes the site positively evil as it could unfairly irreparably damage someone's reputation who does not deserve it.

I hope the owner of the site sees some sense or gets tired of receiving writs in the post and takes it down or identifies each complainant. I think that without any control this site is simply destroying law firms very unfairly indeed.

Jonathan Fagan - Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - www.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.


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





Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CDS12 Crime Duty Solicitor Rota submission dates November 2010

We are starting to take calls on a regular basis from firms not knowing what the current position is in relation to the duty solicitor rotas.

We have spoken to the Legal Services Commission today who have confirmed:

1. The next deadline for CDS12 submission is 8th November at 5pm. The LSC want CDS12s emailing through to them at dutysolqueries@legalservices.gsi.gov.uk
2. The LSC are apparently considering breaking the contract halfway, but in the meantime no firms are allowed to make applications for new geographic areas.

We are not entirely sure how true this will be, as the LSC seem very good at changing the goalposts every few minutes, but in terms of recruitment plans we thought this may assist.

It does mean as far as we can see that no firms will gain new slots outside their own geographic areas by setting up offices or taking on staff in other locations. The benefit in recruiting duty solicitors appears to be that the slots on each rota are awarded according to the number of duty solicitors a firm has at the time the rota is drawn up.

If you are considering recruiting before the next CDS 12 deadline it is probably worth registering the vacancy with us now if you have not been in touch with us already. We have over 300 duty solicitors registered, on a passive and active basis. We can also offer you the Ten-Percent Unlimited Service to cover your recruitment over the next 12 months for a one-off fee.

To register a vacancy simply reply to this email with a quick description - salary or percentage, full/part time, level of experience, whether you will consider taking a non-duty police station accredited solicitor and whether you have a cap on duty solicitor salaries - eg £38k. You can also visit our website at www.ten-percent.co.uk/er.html and fill out our online form or search our candidate database.

If you would like any further information regarding our services or would like to register a vacancy with us please get in touch.

www.crime-solicitor.co.uk - Specialist crime recruitment website from Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment



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



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Five Ways to Welcome a New Employee to your Company

When a new employee starts a job there is almost always some element of nervousness and hesitancy from both sides, the existing staff and the new member of staff. Here are five ways to make the first day considerably easier.

1. Organise a lunch out for all the staff (presuming this is a small firm obviously!) including the new employee. Make sure there is no alcohol served during this meal.

2. Make sure you have some work available for the new employee when they start. There is nothing worse than joining a new firm and finding that you are sat there twiddling your thumbs.

3. Give the new employee an induction into the workings of the firm but make sure this induction is not an excuse for your HR Manager to wander off for two days and not do any work. The induction should be as short as it needs to be.

4. Give the new employee their Contract of Employment and staff handbook etc. For a free Staff Handbook Download please visit http://www.businessbusstop.com and follow the link to “free resources”.

5. Be nice to the new employee as they are going to be a valuable and worthy member of your team. It has probably cost you considerable time and effort to get the person in and there is often complacency amongst employers once a new member of staff joins with almost an assumption that you no longer need to do anything for them.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment (www.ten-percent.co.uk) and can be contacted at 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.

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

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Law Careers eBook Sept 2010 Offers

Interview Guide for Lawyers & Law Students (SALE £11.99 - RRP £25 - save £13.01)
Interview Answers for Lawyers & Law Students (10% off - quote discount code S1083361) Complete Guide to Writing a Legal CV (SALE £11.99 - RRP £25 - save £13.01)
Legal CV Writing Template Pack (SALE £22.49 - RRP £29.99 - save £7.50)
(For more Legal Careers eBooks and Careers Services please visit www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop)


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



Friday, August 13, 2010

Deadline for Children Panel member applications expires.

Very pleased to say that the recent deadline for firms with speculative bids for various contracts with the LSC has now expired so we can stop fielding telephone calls for Children Panel members. We had one firm who were very persistent until we found them someone and harsh reality sunk in that the salary level would be about £45-50k... The firm suddenly went very quiet indeed on us. Not sure how much some partners think Children Panel members get paid but there we go....

Knowing our luck though this will probably be the same as last time - the LSC changed their deadline and we were back to square one fielding calls for impossible job vacancies for a few days...

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 Career 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. For our main shop please visit www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Are the Legal Services Commission a bunch of clowns?

I am gradually forming the opinion that the LSC is run by a bunch of clowns. I cannot be more blunt or rude but we are getting telephone calls by the dozen from firms of solicitors who have stuck speculative tenders in for Mental Health and Family contracts without having the solicitors in place to run them and looking to recruit (obviously not having the money to pay the solicitors as well), but at the same time firms who have operated for many years with well established departments being refused (as I am writing this I have just taken 3 calls for MHRT lawyers).

We understand a firm in Colchester have been offered a contract covering Chelmsford but do not have a presence there, but firms in Chelmsford have been turned down. We have heard the same thing across England and Wales, time and again.

A team of performing monkeys and circus clowns could probably have produced a more coherent response than that undertaken by the LSC. Who on earth set the criteria for the recent contract awarding and why are they still in a job? Come to think of it why are most law firms bothering to deal with the LSC, and why is the Law Society such a wimpish organisation? GPs would not have allowed the current situation to happen.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

How to Set Up a Fully Functioning Legal Advice Shop for less than £500

Take a look at http://ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop
This site was built in less than 24 hours and is fully functioning for payment processing. We took our first order via the site within another 24 hours, and the software handles immediate downloads of our eBooks.

Total cost = £0 Actual installation knowledge required = understanding of ftp.

Setting up the shop = basic understanding of what ftp, html and php script all mean and how to apply them to a website.

Online payment system = 3% of each sale, plus a handling charge of 20p.

How did we do it?
1. We have our own hosting package using http://www.chesterwebmarketing.co.uk/

2. As part of the hosting package we have the ability to install by one-click a whole range of open source software that previously was outside the range of a small business due to the IT knowledge required.

3. One of these packages is Prestashop.

4. We downloaded the software onto our hosting package (it takes one SQL database and a bit of space).

5. We set up our software and linked it to our company Paypal account (we also use an online system called Worldpay.com but this is expensive, cumbersome and extremely fiddly to implement).

6. We imported and set up each product, including our downloadable information products.

Is it hard to set up?
It just takes a lot of time to set up your various products, but the power of Prestashop is immense. For example:
1. You can set up the software to provide free downloads to customers, but log each customer’s personal details. This means that you automatically create a database of potential clients.

2. You can provide a whole host of eBook style information sheets or downloads and these will sell themselves without any further involvement of you or your staff.

3. You can provide free downloads of information to attract customers to your website (we recommend making sure that these are something customers will want).

4. The shop can do regular mailshots to customers, email them on their birthday, send out automatic reminders if an order does not go completely through, provide regular annual sales - the options are endless.

Think about the power of this software... The hardest part of making it work for you is the marketing, but that’s another story....
Sources: Namesco - hosting provider

http://www.chesterwebmarketing.co.uk/ - hosting provider, installer and developer. http://ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop - example of the Prestashop in practice.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Career Question Answered - Holding Job Offers

Career Question – I have been offered a job in an insurance company but have been told by a law firm that they may have a job coming up in the next two weeks. How do I hurry the law firm up so that I can see if they are going to make an offer before I start the job in insurance? I am a solicitor who has struggled to find work for the past few months and need money urgently to pay my mortgage.

The answer to this is fairly simple. There is nothing to stop you taking the job with the insurance company, and then at a later stage if another post comes up handing in your notice and moving from one to the other. Whilst this is not exactly very helpful to anyone from the employer side, it does give you the option of taking a more suitable position without compromising your income and earning capability. In most jobs these days you have a contract that stipulates there is a probationary period of 3 months. During those 3 months your employer can give you one week’s notice to leave for pretty much any reason they like. A number of employers are fairly ruthless when using this clause and will not think twice before asking a member of staff to leave. Similarly, you have the same rights, which is usually to hand in your notice and leave having given one week to your employer. This does then give you the option to ensure that your income is in tact and at the same time to consider new options. This is a very difficult time for a lot of solicitors, particularly newly qualified as they struggle to find suitable work and secondly to get a reasonable salary. You can obtain a salary review from Ten-percent Legal Recruitment either by visiting our website or by sending us an e-mail to cv@tenpercent.co.uk stating your location, level of experience and current salary.

For further assistance in relation to CVs, interview practice, recruitment of lawyers and articles on the legal profession please visit http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Salary Review June 2010 Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

From June 2010 onwards Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment are introducing a new service - the bi-monthly salary review. We will publish our salary guides for all levels of solicitor, both in the regions and London. If you would like an advance copy of the review please email us: cv@ten-percent.co.uk - our Reviews will be emailed out to all our clients next week.

In the meantime, if you email us at cv@ten-percent.co.uk with your details, we would be very happy to do a full salary review for you.

5 Killer Questions to ask at the end of interviews

1. Why should I join your firm?
2. What is your business plan?
3. Have you got an exit strategy?
4. Do you have a marketing plan? Have you got plans to recruit a business development manager?
5. How do you see the use of IT and office technology changing within your firm in the next 3 years?

All of these questions display a certain air of nonchalance, and some are certainly not for the faint hearted. However a lot of employers like to see some thought along these lines as it does indicate a) confidence, b) a business mind, c) enthusiasm. It also indicates that you are able to think in the same way as they inevitably will. Another technique is to call the offices beforehand and ask to speak to the secretary of the person interviewing you. Ask them what hobbies the partner has and you can then drop these into the conversation during interview. A fairly risky strategy as the secretary may well tell the partner!

Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment, www.ten-percent.co.uk. For further careers advice, please visit our website for details of the different services we offer.

Speed Legal Career Coaching, Wednesday 16th June, Central London

On Wednesday 16th June 2010, Jonathan Fagan MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment, Solicitor (non-practising) and Recruitment Consultant, will be at the St Pancras Novotel in London.

You can come and see him with any queries regarding your CV, your career, future plans, leaving the profession, changing fields of law, getting into the profession, forthcoming interviews etc.. The maximum time for a session on this day is 1 hour. The price is £3 per minute.
You will get copies of our CV Guide and Interview Guide, a free CV review and 20% off any of our careers services.

To register an interest and book a slot, please email us: cv@ten-percent.co.uk with the subject heading "16th June" and we will email you back with available slots. www.ten-percent.co.uk/career.htm for further details.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Help & Advice to an LPC student

I read your article on www.legalrecruitment.blogspot.com and was wondering if you could give me some advise on the following matter.

I achieved a 2:2 in Law 8 years ago, for about 6 months after my degree I went on to work in 2 law firms as a temporary office administrator. I learned a few things and was even more interested in pursuing a career in law, after the contract was finished and the fact that I couldn't get another job straight away I decided to go on and do other things and among this was opening my own limited company - facilities management company. The company is still in existence and have been in business for over 3 years now, but after learning that my degree will be stale after 7 years I then decided to go on and dothe LPC as I always knew I was going to continue and finish off to qualify as a solicitor at some stage in my life.

My main concern is what are my chances of securing a Training Contract especially after being out of college for so long, and the situation with the current economy? Although running my own company as a Managing Director gave me a lot of experience, guts, courage, confidence to stand out, build client relationship, advertise, market and present company's services to big companies out there, I went door to door and joined business networking organizations searching for business and introduce my company, I have few people working for me, until recently, due to the situation with the economy... I have often used some of the legal knowledge I achieved in college to my business which was always a pleasure.

ANSWER
The answer is fairly simple - it depends how much effort you are prepared to put in. Very few people walk straight into a legal career, and all the work and effort you talk about in your last paragraph is directly relevant to you starting a legal career. It really is often the case that you will have to sell yourself to law firms - whether face to face or over the telephone, and be prepared to offer them something for nothing to gain experience.

In my experience, those who persistently keep trying to get somewhere with their career eventually do, and those who make a half-hearted effort and then give up because it is too hard fall by the wayside.

There is a free leaflet on the www.ten-percent.co.uk site giving help and guidance to students and graduates looking for legal work experience. Visit the careers centre for details.

Jonathan Fagan, MD, www.ten-percent.co.uk

Monday, May 10, 2010

How to make effective use of Ten-Percent Unlimited

www.tenpercent.co.uk/low-cost-legal-recruitment.html

In March 2010 Ten Percent Legal Recruitment introduced Ten-Percent Unlimited, a revolutionary concept giving law firms the chance to recruit directly using our database resources with a one-off fee for a 12 month period. We will allow you to contact as many candidates as you want to through our database, whether by letter, e-mail or telephone, and to recruit without any further charge.

To use the service effectively, you need to consider the following:

1. Recruitment is turned on its head. You are playing the part of the legal recruiter (ie us!), and hence you need to be very nice indeed to candidates.
2. Most of our candidates are always interested in hearing about positions, and lawyers tend to be flattered if they think they are being headhunted. This is the best way of approaching them.
3. Keep all communication as short and vague as possible - candidates tend to be put off by specifics when in fact a position can suit them perfectly. Promote and market your firm and opportunity initially as if the candidate was a potential client.
4. Make sure you keep an eye on the candidate database - we tend to update and overhaul it every week, as well as add new candidates in cycles of 7 days.
5. Request an updated CV before interviewing. Quite a number of our candidates post a CV with us at some stage but do not update for some years. Although all of them are registered as candidates and receive regular job updates as well as newsletters, not all of them are actively seeking work at any time. Passive candidates are highly sought after in recruitment circles, as those who are actively seeking work tend to be those who are least suited to positions.
6. If you have very specific vacancies with a particular specialism, it is worth considering reverting to our conventional recruitment service, as although it costs more, you also get our expertise in sourcing the ideal candidates.

For further details and to request a quote, please visit: www.tenpercent.co.uk/low-cost-legal-recruitment.html

Writing a Killer CV - Top 10 Tips

Writing a legal CV is fairly easy providing you remember the following:

1. Put your name at the top of the page. (about 1% of all CVs omit this rather important information.
2. Include your date of birth if you feel it is an asset to you.
3. Include a profile underneath your personal and contact details. In this profile put your jobtitle (tailored to the post you are going for), the number of years experience you have, where you are looking for work, how much money you want and when you can start. Keep it very brief indeed.
4. Include your date of qualification if relevant and also date of admission. Dont forget the PSC if you are a solicitor.
5. For your work experience write as much as possible in bulletpointed format. This is by far the most important section on the CV. Facts and figures wherever possible.
6. Dont forget your job title in the work experience section. Again - tailor it where possible.
7. Put your computer skills on the CV. Case management systems always welcome.
8. Activities and interests - these get jobs and interviews.
9. Two references if you are not in work.
10. Use as many pages as you need to, and always send the CV by email unless specifically requested not to.

www.ten-percent.co.uk/cv.html

Locuming - quick guide to the basics

Locuming requires you to almost certainly register as self-employed with the HMRC (a very easy procedure - see their website) and to be prepared for periods out of work (see above). It used to be very lucrative but not so much these days due to the market being so much tighter. You do not need to do anything in order to provide locum services, but it is probably worth making a decision whether you want to work through an umbrella company or go self-employed directly to firms. Some agencies offer employed locum work, but Ten-Percent does not deal on that basis. Do not turn any locum work down to start with if at all possible.

http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/locum.htm

Top Ten Tips for Booking a Locum Lawyer

Locum Season starts - 10 tips for getting ease of mind - Register Locum Vacancies

We often get asked by firms who rarely use locums how exactly they go about using them, so below are our ten top tips for getting the most out of locums and effectively using them.

1. Give as much notice as you can to the locum agency, regardless of who you use. Good locums tend to get booked up a long time in advance...
2. Do not think that a locum will work on the same wage levels as a permanent member of staff. They won't. As a rule of thumb, most locums work 7-9 months out of 12 and cannot afford to negotiate too far down on daily rates. It used to be a very lucrative line of work, but not anymore as work has got harder to come by.
3. Do not use a locum to clear up a mess unless you have specifically told them beforehand that this is the assignment. We know of locums who have walked straight out of assignments like this on the first day for fear of the mess affecting their practising certificates.
4. Specify holiday dates and do not try to get locums to come in beforehand unless you are going to pay them for their time.
5. Always ask the locum to bring with them their proof of ID, practising certificate and two references on the first day.
6. Do not specify requirements for a locum that are too specific. Try to focus on what the locum is needed for - you cannot expect a locum to generate business - they will simply cover a caseload.
7. If the locum is there to cover maternity leave, keep in touch with the member of staff on maternity so that you can keep the locum updated on an end date, otherwise you may find the locum accepting another booking when you still need them.
8. Sort out the payment method before accepting the locum. Ten-Percent Legal for example does not employ locums - we introduce them and charge our fee via invoice. Lots of locums are self employed and either issue invoices or use umbrella companies.
9. Be nice to the locum - you may want to employ them permanently.
10. Make sure you spell out your chain of command for the locum. A complaint we have heard in the past is that a locum has joined a firm, the senior partner has gone on holiday, but not told his staff who is in charge whilst he is not there.

http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/locum.htm

Monday, April 12, 2010

Starting out in the Legal Profession - Sundip's Journey

Hello - Sundip has contacted us and asked if he can keep everyone who reads the Legal Recruitment Blog updated with his progress, as well as get support and advice as required.

His first post is below:

first thing i would like to say is thank you for setting up this blog, its fantastic and very informative. I would like to say, i have decided i will be undertaking the ilex route into the profession. The main reason is because I would like to gain hands on experience and also study at the same time. I have been a special constable for the police for 6 years now, and i feel its time for me to work on the "other side" as they call it, i am fully aware that criminal solicitors do not get paid as much compared to solicitors in other areas, So i am still in a decision as to what field i want to qualify in. But i think most likely it will be the criminal side as I already have advocacy practice being in the police. I would just like to add, what advice would you give me in order to succeed in this field. I would also like to keep you informed of my journey :-) Kind Regards Sunny

I've just ended a conversation with Sundip, and asked him to keep the blog updated with his progress - we will post regular updates.

Jonathan Fagan, MD Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - www.ten-percent.co.uk

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

KPMG and REC Report on Jobs March 2010 - fastest rise in permanent placement for over 12 years

Key points from March survey:
Strongest growth of permanent placements since October 1997.
Temporary/contract staff billings rose at sharpest rate for thirty-four months.
Growth of vacancies eased but remained marked.
Further rise in candidate availability.
Wages and salaries increased again.

This is one of the most positive reports on the recruitment industry for some time, although it has to be said that the strongest growth bit is a little bit of a red herring as the market has been stunted for so long it wouldnt be hard for it to expand rapidly!

The main findings for March are:

Permanent placements rose at fastest pace for over twelve years...
The number of permanent staff appointments made by UK recruitment consultancies increased again in March, with growth picking up to the strongest since October 1997. Higher placements were underpinned by a further expansion of permanent staff vacancies, albeit the slowest in three months.

...while temp billings also increased at sharper rate
Growth of short-term staff appointments quickened to the strongest for thirty-four months in March. Billings were driven higher by the fastest increase in demand for temp staff since January 2008.

Candidate availability rose further
Recruitment consultants signalled another improvement in the availability of staff during March. The supply of both permanent and temporary/contract candidates increased at slightly faster rates compared with one month previously.

Increase in pay reported
Salaries awarded to successful candidates placed in permanent positions rose again in March. The rate of inflation was solid, despite easing slightly from February’s twenty-month high. Hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary/contract employment increased at a pace that, although modest, was the sharpest since June 2008.

Jonathan Fagan
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment Consultants

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Do you have a following without realising it?

Do followings actually exist? Difficult question... Yes, on some planets followings do exist. On others, including Earth, 9 times out of 10 they do not exist.

A 'following' is an interesting concept. For example, we often get called up by firms requesting a conveyancing solicitor with a following for a particular position. Think about it - how exactly does a conveyancing solicitor get a following? Most people tend to only move houses a maximum of once every five years, if that. Developers tend to go with a firm rather than a particular solicitor, and estate agents now want money to refer customers through to solicitors assuming they do not have their own call centre paralegal run conveyancing operation going on.

Another one is for a family solicitor to have a following - again - most people tend to only get divorced once or twice in a lifetime, so how on earth does a family solicitor pick up a following?

Commercial litigation, debt recovery, crime and company commercial solicitors can pick one up, but usually restrictive covenants potentially inhibit the solicitor's opportunity to take their clients from one firm to the next. If you do not think you have a following, have a careful think through who your clients are and whether any would come with you.

To a certain extent you can ignore restrictive covenants. The easiest way of getting round them is to simply make sure you have spoken to all your clients before you leave to advise them that you are leaving, and to give them the name of your new firm in case they have any queries. You may be pleasantly surprised how many indicate that they want to follow you to the new practice. There is nothing to stop them doing this as far as I am aware - you have not touted for business, and neither have you done anything to encourage them to go with you.

Do you have family members or friends who occasionally send you business or refer on contacts to you? This is part of your following...

If you have a following, also consider why you are joining a new firm and not setting up on your own or pressing for partnership. After all, if you have sufficient fee generation from a number of clients, why not keep most of this yourself rather than give it to someone else?

Jonathan Fagan is MD of http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/ - Legal Recruitment Consultants in the UK - you can contact him via the website or email jbfagan@ten-percent.co.uk

Monday, April 05, 2010

Legal Job Market Picks Up Rapidly - April 2010

This article is also available on the Ten-Percent site at www.ten-percent.co.uk/weeklyreport.htm

March 2010 has been a very good month for Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and we are now not only optimistic of the market picking up, but also are aware that legal recruitment is back up and running at high speed. We have watched as vacancies are suddenly grinding to a halt in some areas, particularly for duty solicitors and family panel members, as there is a lack of fresh talent coming onto the market.

In March we had 37 vacancies posted for a whole range of different areas including Conveyancing, Commercial Property, Wills & Probate, Crime (lots), Family (lots), Industrial Disease, Personal Injury, Agricultural Property, Housing, Child Care and Civil Litigation. Commercial still seems to be running at a fairly slow speed.

We could go down the route of other agencies and post the generic mailing lists with commercial posts in that some of the bigger firms send out to 100 recruiters and hope for the best, but generally we try to avoid these as inevitably they result in no quality responses from our candidates. The market has turned, although there is still no sign of a major pick up in non-contentious work despite vacancies starting to materialise.

The conveyancing and wills posts we have picked up have been for replacement partners or long term cover and tend to be from old clients who trust our skill & experience in assisting them rather than from new start ups or clients. The new tax year will almost inevitably kick start the next round of recruitment, and we expect to be very busy now for the next 12 weeks until July 2010 when everything will slow down again.

The new Ten-Percent Unlimited Service has taken off in the last 4 weeks, and we are already assisting firms with expansion plans at very low cost to use our Candidate Database and recruit directly without agency involvement. Recent vacancies in - Duty Solicitor - Preston, Personal Injury Solicitor - Bradford, Family Solicitor - Twickenham, Crime Duty Solicitor/Caseworkers - West London (Ten-Percent Unlimited), Civil Litigation - Plymouth, Senior Conveyancing Solicitor - North London, PSL - Bristol, Business Development Manager (Conveyancing) - London, Agricultural Property - Southampton.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Interview Resources for Lawyers on the Internet

One of the key searches for the Ten Percent Legal Recruitment site is for interview questions and strategies for lawyers and legal and interviews. This article covers the various resources available on the Ten Percent sites and also external sites.

Interview Questions

The main location for interview questions on the Ten Percent Site is the Top 100 Interview Questions for Lawyers which can be found here. This page contains 100 questions used by law firms up and down the country and also refers to sources for suggested answers in places. We know that these questions are used by law firms because they telephone us to ask permission from time to time to print them off. We have also been advised by candidates going for interviews that the questions have been on the table in front of them.

Other sources on the internet include http://www.wikijobs.co.uk/ and http://www.interview-skills.co.uk/. We strongly recommend the latter website because it contains over 200 questions in a competency based interview scenario, a technique most commonly used in local authority interviews. All of these questions are wonderful, but they are no good at all if you do not do anything with them and this is the key point with searching for interview questions. You should do more than just look at them, you need to practice out loud answering them and get someone to listen to your responses. For further advice on interview techniques please see below.

Interview Practice

There are lots of resources on the internet offering interview practice both generally and also in specialist areas. We hold our interview practice sessions in Chester, London, Milton Keynes, Lancaster and Carlisle, and telephone interviews from all over the world (we have had clients in New Zealand, Australia, USA and China).

The feedback from these sessions has always been very good, although one of the questions we are often asked by people looking to purchase the service is what our success rate is.

The answer to this is that we do not have a success rate because it does not necessarily follow that as a result of our interview session someone has got a job. We do get e-mails from time to time from people thanking us for the service and saying that they found a job pretty quickly after practising their interview technique with us, but there are no figures available for this.

Interview Answers

All the interview answers we suggest or we discuss can be found at http://www.legalrecruitment.blogspot.com/. Over the years we have been quite prolific in collating together suggested answers or discussions of answers for specific legal job interviews and you can get these by looking at the key words down the right hand side of the page. Most of the interview answers start with interview answers, but feel free to browse through and see what you can find.

Discussions of Interview Technique

Firstly Ten Percent Legal Recruitment sell a book called The Complete Interview Guide for Lawyers. This is available online or you can telephone our offices to order a copy. This is our comprehensive guide to interview technique and strategy and is suitable for lawyers as well as law students and graduates.

There are also numerous discussions available on the http://www.lawyer-recruitment.co.uk/ website, the http://www.legal-recruitment.co.uk/ website, the http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/ website (careers centre) and also on these pages.

We hope in future to collate all the information we have gathered over the years and put it in one place on the Ten Percent site together with a forum for interview discussion, but this involves having plenty of time and we are not quite there yet!


Ten Percent Legal Recruitment (http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/) is a Legal Recruitment consultancy based in London and North Wales, covering the whole of the UK with particular specialism in small to medium sized practices. We have over 7,000 solicitors registered and looking for work and 5 consultants at any one time handling the vacancies we receive from the broad mix of customers we service between high street practices, commercial firms, niche practices and larger Legal 500 and Magic Circle firms. Law firms can post vacancies free of charge and also pay for unlimited access to recruit over 12 months if preferred. For further details please visit http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Tell me how you would market our firm if you joined us". Killer interview question or opportunity?

"Tell me how you would market our firm if you joined us". No.1 Interview Question for the Recession?

Horrible interview questions do not come much worse... I have recently asked this question in a range of interviews for a fairly heavy sales & marketing role and been astonished at the complete lack of ideas that most of the candidates had. It is true that perhaps some people would be wary to give any information for fear of the firm using it without employing them, but so many people do not seem able to grasp the need for sales & marketing at the forefront of most of the job vacancies and interviews currently taking place in the legal profession.

We advise candidates to do the following:

1. Have an idea in your mind of possible opportunities and potential techniques for sourcing work. If you have a look through the back articles in the Legal Recruitment online magazine, it will give you some ideas. 2. Offer to produce a mini-business plan if the firm is interested in you joining them. In that you can identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and this will give you some ideas for suggesting sources of work. 3. Have quick but fairly vague examples backed up with evidence ready, particularly if you have been involved in marketing before. Examples include BNI breakfasts, networking events, speaking to all the local estate agents, joining the local Chamber of Commerce, advertising in small parish magazines, preparing press releases and coming up with legal articles for local newspapers or specialist trade magazines. 4. Be able to give figures for any past performance and any planned future performance. It really demonstrates a business mind if you are able to show actual evidence of your ability to generate work. 5. Be your own salesperson - think about what an employer is looking for at present, and to use business speak - "add value".

From the employers side:

1. Do not expect too much. We also advise candidates not to give too much away.
2. Be aware that candidates coming to see you for legal jobs usually expect there to actually be a job, and not to create their own.
3. If you have a "create your own" legal job, make sure you spell this out before the candidate books time off or spends time travelling to see you.
4. If you are planning to offer a very low basic salary plus bonus scheme, spell this out to any applicants as well.
5. Have an idea in your head as to the time you want the candidate to spend marketing, and how much time you want them to spend lawyering. There is a balance....
6. If you want a Business Development Manager, recruit one (register the vacancy with us). Don't recruit a lawyer - on the whole, lawyers are lawyers, not salesmen, and the two invariably do not mix. Business Development Managers will spend the whole time sourcing work for you, and are usually happy to take payment on the basis of actual work developed. You do not necessarily need one from the legal profession, as ideally you want someone fresh and without preconceived ideas..

Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. This article first appeared in the Legal Recruitment News, an online journal - http://www.legal-recruitment.co.uk/. You can visit the Ten-Percent Careers Centre (http://www.ten-percent.co.uk)/ to read more articles or alternatively scroll down the list on the right hand side of this page.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Unlimited Recruitment

Ten Percent Legal Recruitment has been at the forefront of online recruitment since 2000, introducing the UK’s first agency candidate database for law firms to look through and see which candidates we have on the books and to request CVs for them.

We have decided for 2010 to introduce a new way of working which probably suits small to medium firms who may be looking to recruit more than once within a 12 month period. For a one of fee we will allow you to contact (via us) as many candidates as you want to through our database, whether by letter, e-mail or telephone, and to recruit without any further charge.

The service will not give you direct access to our candidates and it preserves the candidate’s anonymity until they give consent for you to know who they are. Once authorised, you get to see a CV for each candidate as well as a brief description outlining their skills and experience. You can also communicate with the candidate without them knowing who you are and vice versa.

For further details please visit www.tenpercent.co.uk/er.html.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Legal Job Market Report January 2010

Legal Job Market Summary - 11th January 2010

As one would expect, December slowed down considerably in the run up to Christmas. However, again we have seen vacancies coming into us, including conveyancing, wills & probate, family, commercial litigation, crime and housing. These are not the usual emails from large firms with a multitude of parties being sent the same jobs, but actual vacancies from small and medium sized practices. The geographical mix of vacancies shows that the regions are at present starting to pick up before London and the Home Counties. The majority of the posts have been spread across the UK, but because of the overspill of London into neighbouring areas the Home Counties are taking longer to get back up to speed. Over Christmas, as candidates make New Year resolutions to move, we are seeing increasing numbers of grade A candidates registering with us, including for example a senior commercial property solicitor with a following and looking for a salary of about £120k. Employees are getting more comfortable with the idea of making moves, which has changed from previous months when on the whole most people very sensibly were making the decision to remain exactly where they were. Family panel members and crime solicitors are still going strong in most areas, with firms looking to increase their departments following the delay of the LSC BVT arrangements. Commercial and Civil Litigation are both gaining ground as clients start to realise that there are a number of outstanding debts available to go after and now have the funds to pursue these. Commercial law firms still seem to be very cautious, with a considerably fewer number of positions coming on stream so far this year, although reports of large numbers of vacancies coming up for April 2010. About Ten-Percent Legal RecruitmentTen-Percent Legal Recruitment has a range of senior solicitors and executives looking for work as well as at a more junior level. We can introduce you to housing supervisors, crime duty solicitors, family law panel members, children panel members, immigration level 2 supervisors, mental health review tribunal panel members, personal injury panel members registered for work across the UK. We have a database of candidates that you can view online, and assist with permanent and temporary recruitment. A good proportion of lawyers registered with us are passive jobseekers (ie they like to hear of new opportunities arising as opposed to actively looking for work). The company has about 7,000 solicitors registered at all levels, together with a large number of legal executives and paralegals/fee earners. We are called Ten-Percent because each year since 2000 we have donated 10% of our annual profits to a charitable trust called the Ten-Percent Foundation. If you would like to use our services, please get in touch. You can view our Candidate Database online and register your vacancies either by emailing cv@ten-percent.co.uk or visiting www.ten-percent.co.uk/er.html. Our terms and conditions can be read on the website, and you can speed the process of recruitment up simply by writing the word “urgent” on the email or form you send through, and making sure you include the PQE level, the salary range, start date and any further requirements. We can usually get CVs for you within 3-4 hours. www.ten-percent.co.uk/weeklyreport.htm