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Showing posts from July, 2008

I’m just wanting to start my career in law and feeling completely overwhelmed

I received an email yesterday from a student who had decided to become a lawyer, has signed up to do their graduate diploma of law and legal practice course and was wondering what to do next. She said she was feeling a bit overwhelmed as to what she ought to be doing in the meantime. Apart from the obvious advice that we always give, which is to make sure you really do want to be a lawyer before signing up to do these courses and spending over £12,000, that is to get some experience in exactly what it is a solicitor does in practice. However now is the time to be thinking about what you ought to be thinking, so the same advice. The first step I advise everyone to take when considering a legal career is to go and get experience in exactly what it is a solicitor does in practice, and how their work fits in with everyone else’s. For example, you do not need to necessarily go to a solicitors firm and get work experience (which is very hard to get these days anyway) as you could simply go t

Law firms using “The Apprentice” style selection techniques

In the current climate with lots of conveyancing and property solicitors currently out of work, law firms could perhaps try the techniques used by the BBC in the recent television programme “The Apprentice”. It would be quite simple to do this and perhaps a law firm could try it out and let me know how they got on. Firstly you put an advert for a conveyancing solicitor somewhere prominent and receive hundreds of applications. You sift these down to perhaps ten and ask them all to come to a selection day at your offices. Find a time when your wills and probate partner is available as it is often these particular characters who are the grumpiest and most awkward in a law firm, particularly when interviewing potential employees. They also tend to fancy themselves as advocates as they don’t get much experience of the non-contentious side. You can have perhaps five tasks in the morning and at the end of each one, you could fire one of the potential applicants. The first task could be to put

Conveyancing jobs in London?

I thought it may be worth adding a note to the blog about conveyancing in London because we are getting a lot of enquiries and a lot of worried candidates at present. I estimate that at present we are getting about ten new CVs a day from conveyancing lawyers in and around London looking for work. Bearing in mind it takes us in the region of about 20 minutes to process each application, register the candidate and add them to our databases, we’re starting to have to introduce a backlog to conveyancers. At present, there are not the vacancies out there to justify the work being put in. I make no apology for this as at the end of the day, Ten Percent is a commercial organisation and with the market getting very tight we have to focus resources on specific areas and conveyancing in London is not one of them. As a result of this, some candidates will find that there is a considerable delay before they get an acknowledgement off us to say that we have registered them. At present, the backlog

Solicitors' salaries - them and us

We had a call yesterday from a newly qualified employment solicitor. We had sent her a job that had come in a few days ago for an employment lawyer. These days we try to avoid giving age discrimination for discrimination and specify a specific range. As a result, I had sent this post out to a newly qualified but phoned up to check that there hadn’t been a printing mistake in the email. The salary range given was about £30,000 to £35,000 but the candidate wanted to know why that was so when the recommended salary levels for an newly qualified solicitor in a central London practice were £40,000 upwards. I explained to her that the salary given was actually for somebody two to four years qualified, if not higher and was also on a part time basis so would be pro-rata down even further. The solicitor thought that this was ridiculous and questioned whether anyone would actually apply for such a post. I explained that I had had over 20 responses to the vacancy email and that the reason for h