Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Monday, February 28, 2011

Solicitors Regulation Authority - a response

Response received from the Solicitors Regulation Authority last week (see my earlier blog entry re reporting a firm of will writers (IWC Limited) masquerading as solicitors through Google AdWords). I am amazed that the contact centre officer has the cheek to apologise for not assuring me the correct action would be taken instead of just simply apologising for misreading an email or generally being somewhat incompetent! I make no apology for printing the email in full - if this is the standard of regulation being applied to advertising by the SRA, what chance does the 'solicitor' brand have of remaining a quality one?

Dear Mr Fagan
Thank you for your email of 09 February 2011. I apologise if our previous communication did not assure you that correct action would be taken. The matter has been referred to our Fraud Intelligence Unit who will investigate the information that you have provided and will contact you directly with their response. Thank you for contacting The Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Yours sincerely
Nicola Hicks
Contact Centre Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Fax: 0207 320 5964
Email: contactcentre@sra.org.uk

From: Jonathan Fagan [jbfagan@ten-percent.co.uk]
Sent: 09 February 2011 14:10
To: Contactcentre
Subject: RE: Tracing a firm

You obviously didn't read my email - I am reporting a company who are masquerading as solicitors and advertising on the internet as such..

I suspect this is something you are supposed to investigate?

Regards
Jonathan Fagan
Director
www.ten-percent.co.uk
Email: jbfagan@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, February 09, 2011

The Solictors Regulation Authority - whats it all about?

It may be me - I could have completely the wrong body to report matters to, but I recently noticed a will writers firm masquerading as a solicitors practice, and being a responsible citizen, decided to report them, even though they were advertising on Google Adwords and showing on this very site!

I completed an Solicitors Regulation Authority enquiry form online, indicated what my query was - ie that IWC Limited were committing a criminal offence (I think?) by calling themselves solicitors when they were not (their advert read Will & Probate Solicitors Low Cost Probate Service Guaranteed Qualified, Friendly Staff, Call Now IWC-LTD.co.uk). In fact for the avoidance of doubt, here is my form!

Title: Mr
Name: Jonathan Fagan
Phone Number: 01352810850
Enquiry: Advert seen on Google Adwords from a company as follows - this company do not appear to be solicitors and hence committing criminal offence. suspect this is your remit?
Will (sic) & Probate Solicitors Low Cost Probate Service Guaranteed Qualified, Friendly Staff, Call Now IWC-LTD.co.uk

Imagine my surprise to get the following email back again from someone who obviously struggles to pay very much attention to detail, and leaves me wondering why the SRA is any better than the Law Society was at self-regulation:

Dear Mr Fagan
Thank you for your e-mail of 04 February 2011. I have carried out a search of the records held by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and am pleased to provide you with the following information:

I cannot locate a solicitors firm by the name of IWC-Ltd.

If you can provide any further information then I will happily search our records again.

I hope that this information is helpful. If you have any further queries that you would like to discuss, please contact us by telephone on 0870 606 2555. Our lines are open 09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday. If you are calling from overseas please use + 44 (0) 1527 504450. Please note calls may be monitored/recorded for training purposes. Alternatively you can e-mail us on contactcentre@sra.org.uk

Thank you for contacting the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Yours sincerely

Nicola Hicks
Contact Centre Officer
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Tel: 0870 606 2555
Fax: 0207 320 5964
Email: contactcentre@sra.org.uk
P Go Green; keep it on screen.

Is it me, or is this completely bonkers? Perhaps it is just me.... need to get out more..

Jonathan Fagan, 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








Friday, February 04, 2011

Is there a General Lack of Commitment to a finding a Training Contract or Legal Job from Law Students and Graduates?

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment are currently offering a free legal careers day for people looking to get a training contract, pupillage, work experience or just to get into the legal profession. We are developing an online training programme for students looking to get on in their legal career and need 10-12 people prepared to be filmed but in return receive a full day of training free of charge.

Imagine our surprise when we sifted through the countless applications we received from a post out to our law student and graduate email list and found the following email from a law graduate:
"Ridiculous concept. Attempting to profit from naive/eager students. This borders on unscrupulous. You need to be reported old chap. Remove my details from your pathetic mailing list immediately."

We obviously emailed back to point out there was no catch at all to the day - we simply need to do some filming and wanted to offer free training in return. We had the following response:

"Free job search and interview training - what numpty thinks that Universities and Law Schools do not already offer this service?? Those that you are targeting/robbing are those from less privileged backgrounds who have not attended the better Universities and therefore are struggling to obtain a training contract. Preying on young people's pipe dreams....Shame on you, old chap."

It got better. We shortlisted our 12 people, all of whom had needed to send us a CV together with a covering email explaining why they felt they were suitable to attend. Anticipating emails straight back again confirming their attendance (after all they had gone to the trouble of writing a mini-essay to explain why they wanted to attend), we were amazed to receive no response at all from 3 of the successful applicants, one declining because his local accommodation had fallen through and another sending the following email:

"Hi, I just wanted to check - you do cover our train fares?"

Obviously, spluttering with indignation at the barefaced cheek of such a request, we managed to write a fairly polite response to this email.

This could turn into a rant, and apologies if it does, but I get so frustrated with law students and graduates whinging about how there are no opportunities out there, there are no legal jobs, they have large debts, cant get work, moan, moan, moan. Life is hard, getting into law is particularly hard and always has been. Go back 30+ years and trainee solicitors did not get paid... Every solicitor, apart from those who walked straight into central London firms and regional commercial practices, has been in exactly the same position and succeeded simply by perserverance. Seize every opportunity and don't wimp out at the slightest obstacle. So many do....

Interestingly, some of the people who responded instantly to our offer and to accept a place were those who have 3-4 pieces of legal work experience on their CV, good academics, clear evidence of a good work/life balance and lots of extra information that is going to be of interest in the legal recruitment process.

Many years ago we set up a Job Creation Scheme for students. We had loads of applications and a legal job came in. It was in Kent and we sent three people along. One was offered the job, which, it later transpired, was a training contract. One of the applicants was successful and started work. On the third day we had a telephone call from the firm to say that the person had not showed up for work that morning and had not bothered getting in touch.

We immediately stopped the Job Creation Scheme. The firm in question have never used us again for conventional legal recruitment (ie recruiting solicitors etc) and we still fume whenever we think about this. There are so many people out there looking, but often I think a good proportion of these cannot be bothered when push comes to shove. Good news for anyone prepared to grind away until they get a result perhaps....

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment, a company that tries desperately hard to try to help entrants to the legal profession alongside standard legal recruitment services for solicitors and legal support staff (including legal cashiers).

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



Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Legal Recruitment News for Candidates - February 2011


Please see also our Newsletters for Legal Careers and Employers in the Legal Profession.
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 February 2011 for Employers

February 2011 Legal Recruitment News from 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