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Showing posts from May, 2007

Interview Answer 12

Interview Question 12 (with answer) - Would you describe yourself as ambitious? I have to confess I asked someone this once, and he said "oh no, I have never been ambitious - I just want to earn some money", which is an honest enough answer! In fact most employers would love this as in reality this is what they are looking for - a solicitor who is not going to recruit half their clients and set up over the road in a few years time. However as an interviewer I would not recommend this approach - although it is ideal, and I realise that this is very clear and helpful, at the same time it made me wonder about this person's approach to the work - afterall if you have no ambition, would you put as much effort into your work as someone with ambition to succeed? Again, another question with an answer that clearly is v.obvious, but one that may not be as clear cut once you think about it from the employers perspective. I have to concede that an ambitious lawyer may be one to

Challenge to Companies from Ten-Percent MD

16.05.07 Challenge to companies to donate 10% profits to charity North Wales Director Issues Challenge to Companies to Donate 10% of their Profits to Charity Ten-Percent, the online UK recruitment group, have donated 10% of their profits to charity, and MD & qualified solicitor Jonathan Fagan calls on larger companies to follow suit and do the same. "When you look through the financial reports from blue chip companies, often their charitable donations are less than ours, and we have an annual turnover of less than £1/2 million, a fraction of the amount a company like Tescos generates in an hour. If every company did this, we could achieve significant change in the world, and make companies look more socially and ethically responsible to their customers than they do now." The company is an online operation specialising in the recruitment of lawyers, with 5 consultants covering the whole of the UK and beyond. One of the dotcom survivors from 2000, it has been expanding ever

Interview Answer 11

Legal Interview Question 11 (with answer) - what contribution do you make to a team? A cursed question to anyone who has not worked with business speak before. Includes myself I must confess, as I don't understand such words, but realise when I play cricket that it isn't just me trying to bowl out the opposition or bat to a century each match. The same thing applies in law. The reality is that the concept of teamwork is somewhat different in a law firm - the majority of decisions are made at senior level, and although more junior staff are informed that they need to be 'team players', very often the people who make this sort of comment are not at all in any way! The concept of teamwork is usually - if you smile when you make me a cup of tea, you are clearly a team player, but if you glare at me and drop it in my lap and then smile, you clearly lack social skills. The contribution you make to a team must be that you offer up your enthusiasm and skills, and that if you ar

Part Time and flexible Legal Jobs

15.05.07 Flexible working hours and the legal profession I often have conversations with senior partners of law firms who ask me for lawyers willing to work hard, be committed to their firm, and show entrepreneurial flair and determination, but no-one lightweight or wanting to work part time. Usually the requirement is for someone who wants to work full time and in the office from 9-5pm. This, in the partner's eyes, is someone who is committed and hard working. I have to say that I often find that if I work flexible hours, which I often do, my work benefits as a result. If I want to go and have a game of golf one afternoon, but then work the evening to make up for it, this means I get to relax during the day, and get some exercise, and then in the evening condense 3-4 hours of office time into 2 1/2, and not have to deal with the telephone calls or other distractions. I would estimate that for a lot of part time workers, they do the same, if not more hours than a full time worker,

How to become a legal recruitment consultant

14.05.07 How to become a legal recruitment consultant This article also applies to recruitment consultant jobs generally. Becoming a recruitment consultant is a little like joining the dark side in Star Wars - it often involves professionals giving up a well paid job with status to take on what is, in essence, a sales position, which very often is viewed by just about everyone to be a step down the ladder rather than up it. What do you need to become a recruitment consultant? Qualification-wise - none, but I don't think anyone less than graduate level for legal recruitment will find it very easy, as it involves a high level of communication with solicitors and legal executives, and you need to be able to empathise with them, which can be very hard work indeed at times! Skills wise? Patience (by the bucket load) - this is a career that offers good rewards if you are able to gloss over the bad times and remember only the good times. At present for example we are going through lean pe

Interview Answer 10

Legal Interview Question 10 (with answer) - If you did not have to work, what would you do? This is quite an easy question to answer, as to a certain extent it has no hidden agenda, unlike a lot of questions, and does not leave you open to too much cross examination. One thing to be aware of is that if you come up with "I'd travel the world as I have a real interest in travelling and I hope to do this one day for an extended period" type of answer, you may get a very quick response from a partner asking you to clarify your commitment to a legal career. Similarly a response such as "I'd like to be a kissagram or pole dancer" may not go down too well. However something relatively jocular such as "I would buy an island and go and sit on it" would be OK, or "I would like to be a well known philanthropist" would be fine. A question in summary that you can enjoy answering, and not have to think too much about it! Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Perce

Yikes I'm Newly Qualified

02.05.07 Yikes, I'm Newly Qualified, and don't have a job! If you are reading this and are due to qualify in the next 9 months, register for our services by clicking here. As soon as you qualify, you are a valuable commodity to your firm. You may think that you have no skills, are worthless, and unable to justify a salary you would like. People will tell you that it is very hard to find work as a newly qualified solicitor, and you should wait at least 3 years before moving.  Do not worry! It is a common tactic towards the end of a training contract for employers to "put you down". This is to prevent you thinking about pastures new. They talk about loyalty, vague partnership promises, and usually discuss the high level of the firm's overdraft with you. They then charitably offer you a position with the firm paying a low salary, but in line with your experience, and tell you to think yourself lucky to have employment at all. This is where Ten-Percent Legal Recruitme