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Showing posts from February, 2008

Lack of 3 year + PQE solicitors

19.02.08 Shortfall of 3 year PQE solicitors One of the reasons that law firms struggle to recruit when they are looking for lawyers of more than 3 years PQE is because when lawyers spend 3 years or more in private practice, they have either: a) got set on a career path to partnership with their current firm. b) seen the light and finally realised that the law is not for them, and gone onto pastures new outside the profession, or c) become or always have been not very good and unemployable. If you fall outside of these three areas, ie you don't like your firm or employer, or want to make a move yourself to pastures new within the profession, you are probably in the minority. It would be very interesting to do a research study to see what percentage of solicitors drop out of the profession at this stage and how many stay on. If our anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, I reckon that the percentage will be something around 50/50. Families, relocation, level of prospects would be th

Diversity at law firms

"After some discussions it seems as if a lot of firms bring diversity to assessment days, but choose young people to fill the spots. What do you think? What are your experiences?" Response My experience is not the same as this. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment operate in both a larger practice and high street setting, and as such we see quite a mix of practices and lawyers coming through. The number of older trainees qualifying is actually quite high, and it is not just high street firms that employ them. If you think about the function of a trainee, which is to learn how to be a solicitor, but at most firms also to generate income, the older trainees will understand more about the latter, and also when talking to clients, actually look a lot wiser and more experienced than the younger ones. I have also come across firms who have asked for recently qualified solicitors, but not ones who have come straight through from school, as they want someone mature enough to handle the job.

Query about trainee reaching targets

"I am 12 months into my training contract and get hassled from my bosses about reaching targets. Recently they increased my targets promising to give me more family work to do but this work has not materialised. I am based in the PI department and my boss there just gives me scraps to do. The odd time I get my own client but never a PI matter. I cannot reach my target on the work that they give me despite my protestations. They have dampened my motivation considerably as my boss does not give me enough responsibility. When I qualify I will feel 'half-baked'... is this normal? I have also been in PI since last March and have still not got my own PI case load.... I am being used to do the scraps my boss does not want to do. They have told me they are not keeping me on which does not surprise me as the work is a bit thin on the ground. However I feel they are not fulfilling their side of the contract as they are not training me properly... help!" This is a very difficult

Trainee Solicitor salary levels

"I am well aware that the big city firms pay the most to trainees and qualified solicitors. However does this mean that high street and medium sized firms pay much less, not just to trainees but also to qualified solicitors?" Response Absolutely! When you read in the newspapers about a law firm in central London paying a newly qualified solicitor £60,000pa at qualification date, it does not have any reflection on the vast majority of law firms pay in the UK. The reality is something different. On the high street, usually only partners get £60k unless a solicitor is doing particularly well, and most solicitors will be earning less than £50k. Newly qualified solicitors usually get paid anything from £19,000 up to £30,000 depending on the field of law and the quality of the work a firm is getting. LSC funded work (legal aid) is usually the poor cousin, and most solicitors are still under £30k after 2 years post qualification (PQE). There is a reason firms pay so much in central

Request for a CV review

"I am an experienced Paralegal looking for a TC in the North East i have sent out over 300 applications with many rejections and many wont even reply!! I cannot move away from the North East and Yorkshire for personal family reasons and i am considering leaving the proffession all together if i dont get a TC soon. I attach my CV for your perusal and any comments, alterations etc would be appreciated enormously" Response Interesting conundrum. However, I would like to set you a task, and if you get to the end of it without having found a training contract, I would be very impressed. Your work experience is not bad, but it isnt that out of this world either (its not very long). 1. find out how much time you are going to be allowed off for your current and former work experience. 2. spellcheck your CV. at present you have a spelling mistake on page 1, which is a catastrophic error!!!! 3. read your CV through carefully, as at present it is a bit rambling and not very clear and to

Credit Crunch and Training Contracts

"There's been a lot of talk flying around about the credit crunch and its knock on effects. Last time something like this happened NQs had a really tough time of it. I start my training contract at a medium sized City firm in September, qualifying in 2010, so what does this mean for me? Will it be harder to move around on qualification, or get a job at all? And will it only affect those going into corporate seats, or will my preferred area of private client suffer too?" Response It depends really. There have been instances in years gone by where firms have cancelled training contracts before they were due to start thanks to economic downturns, and also occasions when jobs on qualification have been hard to come by. However, on the whole in most fields the downturns shouldnt really affect you - I anticipate redundancies in conveyancing if the market hits a slump, but interest rates are so low that things shouldnt grind to too much of a halt overall... Wills & Probate a