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Showing posts from 2007

Law Firm Office Xmas Parties - The Rules

16.12.07 Rules for Law Firm Office Parties at Christmas 1. Whatever you do - do not get drunk. This is about the worst thing that can happen (and the best if it happens to someone else!). 2. Do not sit next to someone who you don't like and get drunk. This can result in fights, particularly if it is your boss. 3. Avoid miseltoe (and alcohol) You could end up kissing the office dog. 4. Book a taxi, and make sure you are there at 6pm, rather than 6am. This ensures you do not end up in a ditch at 6am singing songs about the Law Society. 5. Eat food that does not contain butter beans or soya. This ensures you do not inflict anything on the partners and other solicitors. 6. Complain about anything to the senior partner. Do not think that just because they look inebriated, they are - usually they are pretending to see what you will say. 7. Enjoy the party, as it is back to work on Boxing Day... Author: Jonathan Fagan MREC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) - Managing Director of Ten-

Pressures of work as a trainee solicitor

Question While I know the usual gripes on here that people cant get a training contract, im wondering if anyone is in the same boat as me, or similar anyway? I am 8 weeks off qualifying, doing my final "seat" in employment law but at the same time i have a full conveyancing caseload that I have to deal with in any spare time i get (which is not much!) with no help. This week and next I have the final business part of the psc course to do including an exam, its the busiest time of year in conveyancing as everyone wants to move before Christmas and to top it all off, my partner runs his own business which i help out with on evenings and weekends and again this is our busiest time of year. Im tearing my hair out meeting myself backwards trying to get everything done i need to get done and on top of all that there’s Christmas shopping to do! I know theres an end to this in that in 8 weeks time I'll finally be fully qualified and all this hassle will be over and I really shoul


04.12.07 Avatars and Legal Recruitment - are they compatible? Ten-Percent have just started trialling the use of Avatars on our site. Basically an Avatar is a fictional being, almost a robot that lives in a virtual world. We noticed a website in the UK doing it (Dandys Topsoil), and decided to have a go ourselves. We now have one on our solicitor page, and also our paralegal page. Basically the avatar gives a visual presentation of our services to anyone visiting the site, and spices it up a little bit! I think we are the only legal recruitment consultancy to offer this, and it will be interesting to see whether we get emails complaining about it, or commending it! Future use will possibly be the development of many more avatars covering our paralegal and free careers advice sections rather than the solicitor recruitment side, but we will have to see.. Author: Jonathan Fagan MREC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) - Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment (www.ten-

November Update 2007

I've been somewhat lacking on the blog side of things since the birth of my third daughter, as the brain has ceased to function adequately sufficiently to be able to power any relevant thoughts! November 2007 - quietening down for Christmas Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is made up of a number of different websites and you can register to improve your prospects via any of our sites. Our sites simply offer law jobs, and we are totally committed to legal recruitment - we operate, our main site, (property, wills, probate, litigation),, (crime - duty solicitors, police station accredited reps and NQ),,,, and (UK corporate and commercial solicitor recruitment by email). All our sites are an integral part of our legal recruitment group. We also offer

Entering the legal profession without a law degree

26.10.07 Whether to give law a go with a 2.1 business degree and average A Levels I am thinking of going back to uni to do a GDL and work towards a career in law. The problem is I have pretty average A Level results, B,C,D and a 2:1 in business from an ex-poly. ( I think have always been capable, just not really motivated during A Levels.) I really want to be a lawyer but what are my chances of getting a TC? Do I have a realistic shot? Or should I spend my time and money on something else? We often get people coming to see us for careers consultations with similar situations and wanting to know definitively whether they will get a training contract. I think the first question to ask is "why do I want to be a lawyer", not whether he will get a training contract. The reason for this is because the response to the first question will usually result in the answer to the second. If there is a genuine reason for wanting to be a lawyer, backed up by sound evidence, Dan will already

Employing a solicitor in a MDP

17.10.07 Employing a solicitor in a multi-disciplinary partnership Every year since I started back in 2000, ten-percent have been approached by a range of people wanting to set up and run a solicitors firm. I have known financial advisers, claims management companies, accountants, estate agents, businessmen, all wanting a piece of the pie! I think that some of the other professions see what a solicitor does, see how much they bill and how little they seem to actually do, and see pound signs flashing before their eyes! The harsh reality is that there is so much red tape and so many issues such as indemnity insurance, that in fact it is not worth employing solicitors in house to provide a service to the general public, which of course is the point at which you need to be a solicitors firm. I have known some of the large service companies set up their own firms - we once had dealings with Capita and a law firm they had established which was directly linked to the plc. Once the new Legal S

Locuming for a career

11.10.07 Locuming as an alternative career for solicitors Doing locum work as opposed to permanent: At some stage in a solicitors career, this conundrum will almost always arise. It usually follows the stint of a locum in a firm for a longer period of a few weeks, and someone in the firm discovering that the locum is getting paid more than one of the junior partners for doing a much lower role within the organisation. Locum work is something of a legend in law. It is said that locums can be millionaires, and that they are constantly in demand, jumping from one post to another, generating vast amounts of income on £60 per hour rate. The reality of the situation is somewhat different, although there is some truth that locum work is quite rewarding financially. Most locums I come across fall into one of the following categories: a) they want to find a permanent job, but havent been able to. b) they are professional locums, just taking assignments to book up their year as wanted. c) they h

Lecturing is very hard!

Lecturing and LPC students Looking back on my years as a student, I must say that I probably had the same attitude of most others, in that i always thought that my lecturers were failed solicitors and barristers, and could never understand how half of them had the cheek to think they could lecture to me about law when they had failed to cut it, and ended up lecturers. Having spent the last few years lecturing at University for a couple of days, I can safely say that this view was considerably misguided. By the end of a 3-4 hour stint, I am completely exhausted! I feel like collapsing in a heap, and actually start to feel a bit lightheaded. I know that my one off day is somewhat different to the majority of lecturer's experiences, but to be stood before a group of students talking away is something not to be taken to be easy! Some of the groups you talk to show no sign of any interest in what you have to say - most just stare blankly back, and it is very hard to tell who is interest

Skills Sections on CVs - waste of time

09.10.07 Skills Section on a CV One thing that crops up a lot in recruitment is the use of Skills Sections on CVs. These are the bane of every recruiter's working life (whether HR people in firms/companies or recruitment agents) - even solicitors with 10 years PQE still write them down. An example would be: "good interpersonal skills, able to communicate effectively and use transferable skills in a way to benefit the firm. Punctual, generous and with a good sense of humour." I have read CV's with pages of this stuff on them, and can never understand why anyone with any common sense would not realise that there is absolutely no point including any of it on the CV. According to many students I have spoken to over the years, careers advisers at various universities and colleges have said that this is the way you do your CV, and this is the sort of thing that employers want to see. I must say that our approach (and that of other recruitment consultants I have spoken to) h

Law Firm Websites - free assessment

26.09.07 Solicitors Firms Websites - some good, a lot terrible! We have decided to offer a new service to law firms who register vacancies with us. This will be free, and the only catch to it will be that we must be allowed to publish an article on our site about our findings. We will analyse a firm's website free of charge. Firstly, we will give the firm a breakdown of how popular their site is, what their ranking is for searches in Google, and how visible the website is (eg - have they linked with ?). Secondly, we will check the site for inconsistencies, spelling mistakes or grammatical errors popular with web designers. Thirdly, we will rate the site on how efficient it is at what it is supposed to be doing - ie selling the firm, providing an online service, and setting the firm apart from others of a similar nature. Fourthly we will give a forthright view on what improvements could be made - whether the site accurately reflects the firm, and does the

Future of the Legal Profession

25.09.07 Ruminations on the future of law and the legal profession  An interesting report was produced by the Lord Chancellor's Department in 2006 that stated 'much legal work has the potential…to be systematised and automated and later to be packaged as online services or products and made widely available on the World Wide Web without the need for interaction between client and lawyer’ It is clear that the drafting of a wide range of standard contracts and agreements will fall within this, and that these traditional services will be replaced by online services. There is an enormous hole that is quite apparent in the legal market that has been called the 'latent legal market', referring to the innumerable situations in people's domestic and working lives when they need legal help. With the LSC gradually destroying the remnants of the legal aid system, more and more people are dependent on insurance products and the like to sort out their legal disputes. The interne

Solicitors becoming HIPS inspectors

21.09.07 How to become a HIPs inspector (perhaps there are crime solicitors who may want to make a bit more money?!) Alternative careers for solicitors in years to come, or perhaps solicitors need to have a think about becoming both a home inspector and a solicitor - certainly looks easy money! Cost is slightly prohibitive - I have seen courses costing about 7,500 plus VAT, which compare well with the LPC! The work As a home inspector you would produce reports on certain types of houses offered for sale on the open market in England and Wales. You would look at the age, condition and energy efficiency of people's homes and produce a Home Condition Report (HCR) and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Your key duties would be to:  examine the inside and outside of a property give each part of the building a condition rating based on a set scale give reasons for each rating recommend further investigation of defects that could be serious give the property an A to G rating for e

Charitable Donations - criteria

20.09.07 Ten-Percent Foundation Criteria for selecting Charities for donations Since April 2000, Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment have been donating 10% of annual net profits to charitable causes. This started with the princely sum of £500, to the last tax year of 2006-2007 resulting in about £8,750. To date we have donated £30,000, but what on earth led us to donate money, and where do we donate to? All the money we donate goes to the Ten-Percent Foundation, a charitable trust, that took copious amounts of effort to set up by me, a solicitor not used to dealing with administration of this kind! The charitable trust has a number of aims that hopefully encompass supporting third world projects, the alleviation of poverty in the UK, and promotion of society within our local communities. When we started out, we got a lot of calls from professional fund raisers, who frankly annoyed me intensely, although I understand why they are there. It frustrated me that I could be donating money to a goo

Candidate Newsletter - Autumn 2007

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment Candidate Update Autumn 2007 1. Legal Recruitment Market Report - updated 13/09/07 2. Age Discrimination 3. Open Plan Offices - loathed or loved? 4. Flexible Working Hours and the legal profession 5. Newly Qualified - what do I do? 6. Online legal recruitment blog 7. Vacancy Database online - new and improved 8. Let us do the work! - head hunting with a difference 9. 2007 Charitable Donations 10. Let us recommend you - our findasolicitor service Welcome to our Autumn newsletter, sent out to candidates who are registered with us on our database. If you do not wish to remain on the database to receive new vacancies, please email us the word 'remove' and your full name to . If you wish to remain on the database, but not receive these updates (sent quarterly), please email 'no updates' with your name to 1. Market Report (full report -

Autumn Newsletter for Employers

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment Employer's Update Autumn 2007 1. Legal Recruitment Market Report - updated 10/09/07 2. Age Discrimination 3. Free Candidate Placements 4. Free Guide to Recruitment and Retention of Staff 5. 2007 Charitable Donations Welcome to our Autumn newsletter, sent out to firms who have requested candidates from us or used our services in the previous 12 months or so. 1. Market Report (full report - 2007 has been a very busy year for most recruitment companies, as the market has expanded in most sectors, and contracted somewhat in the LSC funded work areas. For permanent placements the fields of law are shifting. Crime remains awful, although picking up slightly. Conveyancing is good - lots of work on both the temporary and permanent side coming in - although again London central not moving very fast. Other areas appear to have a bit of a shortage. Personal injury - not very good, alth

Interview question - interests and hobbies?

Interview Question - activities and interests. A common question in an interview is to ask the interviewee what interests and activities they have outside of work. It is an interesting question, as it tends to throw a lot of people who have spent many years studying followed by many years working. However I have noticed something during my time as a recruitment consultant, which is that those who make it in the profession tend to have something they do out of hours which is interesting or sporting. It is rare to find a lawyer who just does law, reads the paper, and watches football. There is almost always something else there, whether it is playing rugby for a local team, working as a volunteer for a local charity - you name it they do it. My advice to anyone joining the profession is to look for something you do that will make you stand out of the crowd - what about taking up a new sport or hobby, and getting so into it you are able to talk about it passionately? It doesnt have to be

Sole Supplier Agreements - Recruitment Agencies

05.09.07 What is a sole supplier arrangement for a recruitment agency? A sole supplier arrangement is one where a recruitment agency handles all the aspects of recruitment for a specific vacancy or length of time. Firms can benefit from being able to hand over the entire recruitment process from start to finish, with the exception of the interview itself. We offer this service, and usually also offer discounted advertising in the Law Society Gazette as well. Where you see this in adverts (usually a sole supplier will put "please note that this ad is being handled on an exclusive basis by Blogs and Blogs and all third party applications will be forwarded through to them") it means that a recruitment agent is handling the post as a supplier. I once handled a Bermudan job on a sole supplier arrangement, and fielded in the region of 200 telephone calls in a week. I had over 40 applications to put forward from about 75 CVs received. Lots of applicants - can't think why! The wo

Training Contract assistance

04.09.07 "Hello, I'm an LPC graduate, can you help me find a training contract?" The very quick answer to this query is usually no, followed by a very pregnant pause. The person telephoning almost sounds surprised! I am more surprised that someone has been on our website, found our details, and managed to miss just about every warning we have on the pages that we simply cannot assist potential trainee solicitors and LPC graduates as there is no market out there for them.. My next piece of advice is pretty much the same - you will find that virtually every other agency will say the same thing, and you will probably be wasting your time calling round. The best thing to do is to look on our website and follow the career centre links, clicking the law student option, and download our free guide to finding a training contract and work experience. This contains a sure fire way of getting work experience, a foot in the door, or even an elusive training contract! There is a lot o

August 2007 Legal Job Market Report

August 2007 - holiday season and wettest summer for years almost over Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is made up of a number of different websites and you can register to improve your prospects via any of our sites. Our sites simply offer law jobs, and we are totally committed to legal recruitment - we operate, our main site, (property, wills, probate, litigation),, (crime - duty solicitors, police station accredited reps and NQ),,,, and (UK corporate and commercial solicitor recruitment by email). All our sites are an integral part of our legal recruitment group. We also offer a locum service for assignments of more than 1 month at   We remain at the forefront of online recruitment, and currently feature fairly promi