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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.


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