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Your Legal Career Checklist

When was the last time you sat down and reviewed to what extent you are meeting your career objectives?

And I don’t mean your annual review with your line manager; I’m talking about your deeply personal career goals and intentions.

Wherever you are in your career journey, it is a good idea to periodically analyse your current position in light of where you aim to be. When you dig a little deeper, is everything working out as you expected? Or do you need to make some changes in order to stay on track to meeting your goals?

To help you measure if your legal career is progressing as you envisaged when you started out, we have created the following checklist to provide you with a snapshot of where you stand at present career-wise and whether you’re on the right track.

When you work through this checklist, it is essential to bear in mind the reasons you are where you are in the first place.

What did you set out to achieve in your career – and what does doing so look like up to this point? Did you plan on meeting certain financial goals by this stage of your career or have your ambitions been driven by more personal goals?

An equally important point to consider is what you value most about the firm you work for. Do your values fit in with what the firm’s culture prioritises? Is there a synergy present in your working relationships with your colleagues and managers?

If you find that your current role or firm is not providing the satisfaction you had hoped it would, or that the pace of your progress has gradually petered out, then it could be a sign that some important decisions need to be made regarding your career sooner rather than later.

Read each statement below and decide on how much you agree, using the following scale –

1 – Strongly disagree

2 – Disagree

3 – Neutral

4 – Agree

5 – Strongly agree

So, let’s get started!

Career Checklist

1. I am progressing the way I want in my career.

2. I have achieved some of my career goals, and others are within reach.

3. I enjoy my work and look forward to going in each day.

4. The people I work with are very supportive and friendly.

5. I feel like a valued member of the team I work within.

6. My manager gives me the right balance between support/guidance and working under my initiative.

7. I feel I make a difference within the company I work for, rather than just being a number.

8. The company I work for really invests in supporting me to achieve my goals.

9. I can see a clear progression path within my current company.

10. I am happy with the level of training and personal development offered by my current employer.

11. The company I work for believes in me and trusts me to do my job well.

12. I feel that my company enables and supports my focus.

13. I am recognised and rewarded for my work.

14. The sector I work in really interests me.

15. I am happy with the location of and commute to my place of work.

16. I feel my company offer a fair and competitive commission structure (if applicable).

17. The monetary remuneration I receive has enabled me to achieve goals in my personal life (i.e. buy a house, go on my dream holiday, etc.)

18. I feel I have the right work/life balance working for my current company.

19. I am happy with the way my working day is structured.

20. I can see myself staying with this company for a long time.

What Did You Score?

Tally up what you scored and take a look below at some of the points you may want to consider when thinking about how you want your career to progress in the future:



Alarm Bells!

Things aren’t going to plan, and you are probably not enjoying life in your current role. We suggest taking some time to reflect on the possible reasons behind your dissatisfaction and what needs to change to have them resolved. This can be anything from your current workload and position within your team to your working environment and even your practice area.



Room for More

A better score, which suggests there are aspects of your job you enjoy but also a lot of room for improvement. For example, you might like the people you work with, but feel that there is a lack of support present within management to help you meet medium or long-term career goals. You will need to find out if there is any commitment on the part of the management team to implement changes, and assess how concrete said plans for change are. Speak with your manager and outline your concerns as well as what plans they have in this regard. Whatever the outcome of the conversation, you will have either gotten a clearer picture of what your future at the firm looks like or a clear indication that your tenure there has run its course.



Meeting Some Goals

You’re neither happy nor unhappy, though you wouldn’t describe yourself as entirely satisfied. Meaning that if the right opportunity came your way, you would be weighing up your options. Whenever you feel this way it’s important to bear in mind that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. If you’re leaning towards a move away from your firm, have a think of why this is your preferred option. What you want to be sure of is that there is no impulsivity driving your decision-making and that an exit is needed because of a bad career move, not a bad day at the office.



Loving Life and Your Job

You are achieving your goals, meeting targets and enjoy life where you work. There may be elements of your work life that you feel could be better, but they aren’t big enough of a negative to make you consider working elsewhere. However, we suggest you don’t let complacency set in, as being in your comfort zone for a certain period of time can sometimes lead to that and prove counterproductive to your progress in the long run. If you find that despite being happy with where you are in your career, you haven’t taken any major steps forward in the last year or two, then a fresh challenge could be the jumpstarter you need.


Hopefully this checklist has prompted you to think harder about your career goals – and whether or not you are on track to achieve those with your current employer. If the final score however has intimated a change may be afoot, your next wise move is to call on the expertise of a recruitment specialist who can further challenge those thoughts; find out exactly what you are looking for from an employer and uncover the potential reasons you are ready to look at new opportunities in the market.

At Clayton Legal, we have been committed for the past 20 plus years to helping legal professionals build a career they can be proud of, whatever stage of their journey they might be at. If you are at a point where that next step in your legal career is unclear going into the new year, then we can give you the guidance you need to make your start in 2024 the strongest possible one. Give our team a call today on 01772 259 121 or contact us here.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Is Your Feedback Worthwhile to Your Legal Team?

  • October 1, 2019

Feedback is something of a controversial subject.

Some argue that it doesn’t fulfil a valuable function in the legal workplace; that it merely wastes the time of those giving and receiving it and that it can undermine an individual’s confidence in their ability to do their job.

But feedback can be a powerful tool in your legal team.

Useful feedback has benefits for the giver, the receiver, and your law firm as a whole; it can be used to make critical decisions.

Continuous improvement is not just the latest buzz word; it focuses your law firm on building performance by helping individuals make better decisions going forward, doing more of what is already going well, and establishes a culture of ongoing two-way communication.

Feedback is a Skill

Firstly, it’s essential to recognise that giving and receiving feedback is a skill.

Good feedback relies on your ability to embrace emotional intelligence – using your self-knowledge to enable you to accept positive criticism and use it to learn and grow, and using your empathy to put yourself in another’s shoes to see things from their point of view when providing feedback.

Feedback also requires active listening – making sure that both parties know they have been understood and that what they said holds value (more on this later).

So, the trick to implementing valuable and worthwhile feedback to your legal team is to understand what it provides and to use it correctly.

Feedback is a Constant Process

Most law firms, when asked, would say feedback is given during employee surveys, at performance appraisals or in training evaluations, and that’s true. But, feedback is also there all the time in our day to day working lives.

So, be aware of feedback being a constant – and aim to use it wisely when communicating with your legal team. In effect, good feedback between senior partners or managers and their teams can enable you to grow the firm by instilling a sense of support across all employee levels, from trainees to Senior Partners.

Feedback is a Two-way Conversation

Feedback provides an effective way of giving value to and acknowledgement of another’s thoughts – it’s also critical to ensure that for everyone concerned, feedback provides an opportunity to speak and be heard.

That means providing feedback and allowing for comment back on your observations.

It involves practising active listening to ensure that both parties are on the same page with exactly what the feedback means.

It’s so easy for comments to be misinterpreted: I find it useful to repeat what someone has said to me to be sure I’m clear on their meaning.

So, for example, if you are giving feedback to your legal secretary, you might say, “So, from what you are saying I understand that you are unhappy with the level of caseload work and would like to know if it’s possible to introduce a software package to help speed up the admin process. Is that correct?”

This sort of clarification opportunity ensures that you don’t misinterpret the message – which of course can lead to problems further down the line.

Feedback Provides Opportunity

Feedback should be an opportunity to help individuals know where they are doing a great job and where they need to focus on developing skills and abilities.

Without feedback, there is a lack of understanding for an individual as to how they are measuring up in their legal work and therefore, limited opportunity for them to improve.

If individuals do not receive feedback or don’t know how to receive it in a constructive fashion, they are likely to lose out on potential promotion and the chance to grow in their skill set, knowledge and capabilities – and gain a fulfilling career in law.

Feedback Addresses Specifics

Feedback should be delivered with respect – always.

Even if the feedback is negative, it’s critical for the giver to be aware of the manner in which they are delivering their comments to ensure that the feedback is constructive and specific.

That means referring to specific incidents rather than vague statements, for example, “In the meeting last Thursday you interrupted Jim before he had a chance to put his case” rather than “You’re always talking over other people.”

The feedback should be non-judgemental – so, “I believe you may have misunderstood the reasons for the client costs going up?”, rather than “You were wrong to say the cost shouldn’t have been increased.”

It should also let the individual know the effect their action or comment had. For example, “After you talked over Kim’s suggestions in the meeting last week, she felt upset and undermined, which affected her confidence in her professional opinion.”

Feedback Enables Growth

Remember, feedback isn’t just about the negatives.

It’s also an excellent opportunity to acknowledge where good work has been done and to formally recognise it as part of your employee development plan.

Positive feedback provides a significant morale boost and is part of the learning process – reinforcing what a team member is doing right. It shows you recognise excellent performance and enables the employee to be able to move forward, doing more of the same behaviour.

Of course, we’re all only human, so feedback can never be entirely objective.

It’s crucial, though, to focus on delivering all feedback in a way that minimises the chances of the recipient feeling threatened or defensive and allows them to take on board comments (good and bad) and see them as drivers to inspire learning and development.

This will enable individuals to grow and flourish in their legal career and will allow you to develop a legal team who perform at the top of their game.

Initiating Feedback

Asking for feedback unprompted shows that a team member is more likely to accept it as a positive and learn from it.

These are the employees who are more likely to advance in their legal career. Conversely, it’s often the case that those who never ask for feedback are less open and likely to be more defensive if they feel challenged in their behaviour.

If you have team members who actively seek your feedback, then be prepared to provide constructive comment to help them.

And don’t forget, asking for feedback yourself shows excellent leadership qualities – after all, no-one’s perfect!

Feedback, either informally requested or as part of a formal review process, can provide an excellent platform for improving performance.

Instilling a culture of feedback in your law firm and seeing it as positive will enable you to remain aligned to overall goals, help create strategies for the firm, develop services, improve relationships and achieve success.

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move to grow your legal team, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help, your transition can be smoother and quicker.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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8 Reasons Why Accepting A Locum Legal Position Is A Great Idea

  • September 20, 2019

Temporary legal roles are becoming more and more popular. There is an increasing demand for interim or contracting Solicitors and Lawyers (locum legal professionals) as a result of the current candidate-driven legal marketplace. Due to this spike in demand, many legal professionals are beginning to consider the advantages of becoming a locum.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to find the right legal position. It could be that you are relatively new to the legal marketplace; you could have been made redundant or just be looking for a change in your legal career. Making sure you get the right permanent job is not always straightforward.

On occasions like this, it’s wise to consider a locum legal position.

After all, some of the highest achievers in business started out in temporary roles – even the likes of Steve Jobs!

Working in temporary positions has increased in popularity since the recession of 2007, with 800,000 temporary staff now part of the workforce, a new report has found.

This marks an astonishing 40 per cent rise over the past ten years, according to research carried out by the Resolution Foundation.

The main advantage to law firms in hiring locums is an easily scalable workforce, but there are many benefits for the individual choosing to take a locum position too.

Temporary work is a good way for unemployed legal professionals to get back into employment and of course, there is the advantage that the interim role you take on could become permanent. Although there is no guarantee that this will happen, locum work offers distinct advantages that can aid your legal career, so you should seriously consider these when wondering if you should take a temporary role.

Advantages of locum legal positions include:

1. A Psychological Boost

Being unemployed can take its toll; eating into your self-confidence and motivation. So, a locum position can raise your morale and give a sense of structure and meaning to your day.

And if you take several locum positions, you will soon become adept at starting new jobs and taking everything in your stride, thus building your confidence.

2. Flexibility

Locum positions provide the perfect way to get more flexibility in your life. If you want to study and gain further legal qualifications, if you provide care for someone else, or have interests you would like to devote more time to, temporary work is ideal.

Locums also have the advantage of being able to often negotiate their working hours, shifting the work-life balance to suit their lifestyles.

Additionally, the nature of locum work, where you will be exposed to a variety of different roles and tasks, means that no two days are likely to be the same so that you can enjoy increased diversity in your work.

3. Continuous Employment on Your CV

When you go for a permanent post, it doesn’t look good if you have long gaps between jobs.

An interviewer is likely to ask you what you’ve been doing since your last job, and you don’t want to admit to watching endless daytime TV or reorganising the kitchen cupboards.

It looks so much better if you can say you’ve been in temporary work to keep up to date with industry standards, training and upskilling to put you in a good position for permanent legal work.

Not only does this show your commitment to finding a job, but it also demonstrates that you are a naturally upbeat and positive person who makes their own luck – the type of colleague who would be a bonus to any law firm.

4. Opportunity for Work Experience

Locum work is a great way to get a varied and diverse range of experience – and fast.

If you are looking to change direction or upskill in your legal career, say you are thinking of retraining in property law, locum roles are a great way to gain experience and ability in a variety of roles and arm yourself with additional, critical soft skills such as communication, adaptability and attention to detail.

A locum role also allows you to keep up to date with your current skills and provides a chance to learn new hard skills such as the latest software packages or developing your presentation abilities.

Additionally, legal professionals with many years’ experience already under their belts offer employers the benefit of their valuable knowledge. Your experience will build your credibility and reputation in the marketplace, making you a desirable and in-demand employee as law firms recognise the benefits an experienced locum can bring to their firm.

5. Test the Waters

Locum work is also an excellent way to try before you buy.

So, if you are interested in working for a particular law firm taking a temporary role will enable you to see what they are like to work for, what the company culture is, what their staff development commitments are, as well as allowing you to get a general ‘feel’ for the firm.

If you want to try several firms, temping also offer a low-obligation way to assess each one and try several different roles. This gives you the space to think about where you want to go next before committing yourself to a permanent position.

6. Build Your Network

Locum work is the dream way to quickly build your network.

It allows you to rapidly grow contacts across a wide range of law firms and legal connections as well as establish links with the recruitment company that placed you in the role. This can play to your advantage as you can use the same recruitment company to access future locum roles!

7. Temporary to Permanent

Make a great impression, and your role may become permanent. Even if it doesn’t, already being in the firm and showing you can do a good job could put you first in line for consideration if a full-time legal role comes up, as you already have experience of working for the firm and they know you.

Starting out as a locum and ending up in a full-time position can be extremely rewarding. The advantages include not having to go through a period of being on probation, already being part of the team, acclimatised to your law firm’s culture and knowing your colleagues.

8. Work-Life Balance

Of course, not everyone enters locum positions as a stopgap before something permanent comes their way.

Locum roles offer the chance to have greater control over your career.

I see many candidates who prefer to temp on a permanent basis to avoid the stress and burn out which is so prevalent in many legal professions where individuals regularly work long hours.

Locum work can offer flexibility and the experience of meeting a wide range of people and doing different things. Learning about the various law firms you work for and gaining skills and knowledge quickly can be rewarding.

Additionally, temporary work can enable you to use this knowledge to move to more senior locum positions while still allowing you to choose when and where you work, resulting in a great work-life balance.

Finding the Right Locum Position

If you’re looking for a locum position, a knowledgeable specialist recruitment agency such as Clayton Legal can help steer you in the right direction.

We know the legal marketplace inside out and are familiar with working with individuals looking for temporary positions and clients seeking to engage temporary staff. Working with one contact, we will get to know you well: your interests, skills and qualifications and your preferences so we can make sure you find your dream locum role – or roles!

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move in your legal career, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help, your transition can be smoother and quicker.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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5 Ways You Can Create A Stress-Free Culture In Your Law Firm

  • May 10, 2019

A stressed employee is often an unhappy and unproductive employee. Yes, legal work is demanding. However, that doesn’t mean you have to neglect the emotional health of your legal team.

There’s a growing body of research that confirms the link between employee happiness and workplace productivity. A recent study at the University of Warwick revealed that happy employees work harder and are 12% more productive and motivated than those who are unhappy or stressed.

A lot of workplace stress can be alleviated simply by providing opportunities to fulfil basic human needs. In addition to being less stressed, employees who feel their needs are being met in the workplace, feel more comfortable, confident, and are motivated to work more productively.

Here are five simple practices that will help foster a stress-free culture in your law firm.

1. Develop a Wellness Programme

The firm that exercises together, stays together. This is something Japanese businesses have known for some time. Working out as an office will not only help build camaraderie; but research also shows that daily exercise is effective in helping to increase happiness (and lower stress) as anti-depression medication.

Workplace ‘workout’ can take many different forms; from a lunchtime yoga class, to organising an office sports team. You could even arrange to have monthly matches against other law firms. Working together to achieve a common goal on the field will translate to stronger relationships and improved teamwork in the office. It’s also a great way for people to get to know everyone in the law firm better.

In addition to providing opportunities for group exercise, you could bring in a wellness coach to speak to staff on ways they can fit daily exercise and proper nutrition into their busy professional lives. As well as reducing stress, a healthy diet and regular physical exercise will enable your employees to think more clearly, while having greater creativity and productivity.

2. Mentor Young Talent

Workplace mentoring programmes not only help new employees learn the ropes, but they also help them to build strong professional relationships with senior members of staff. In addition to helping them perform more effectively, mentorships give younger new team members a sense of belonging and worth. They are also an effective way for new employees to get answers quickly, allowing them to develop more quickly in their roles.

Research shows that employees who benefit from mentoring programmes have higher job satisfaction, which often correlates to increased productivity and reduced turnover. Frustration and stress over not knowing how to correctly do a job is one of the leading causes of staff turnover for many organisations. Therefore, providing new talent with the support and feedback necessary to carry out their work correctly and effectively will increase both workplace efficiency and retention.

3. Encourage Open Communication & Employee Feedback

Ineffective communication is one of the leading causes of workplace stress and discontent. One of the best ways to reduce uncertainty and anxiety in the workplace is to improve employer to employee communication channels by encouraging open communication between all team members. This will help to ensure that everyone is clear on their purpose and what their role is, which will help to develop a more cohesive community in your firm.

Another great way to help improve workplace culture and reduce stress is by implementing an employee feedback system, where all employees are able to provide feedback to the firm’s leadership team. An employee feedback system will give your employees a sense of importance, allowing them to feel understood by giving them an outlet to voice their opinions and concerns.

4. Focus On Work-Life Balance

The secret behind many highly successful companies is their promotion of work-life balance. In addition to encouraging staff to make the most of their personal time, there are many things your firm can do to promote a healthier work-life balance among your legal team.

You could adopt a flexible schedule, allowing employees to start/end work an hour or two later when needed. In addition to this, you could also implement a work-from-home scheme, where employees might be eligible to occasionally work at home in certain circumstances. Another option is to promote digital downtime by encouraging staff to go for a walk at lunchtime and take ‘digital breaks’.

Allowing your employees to take time off when they’re feeling worn out — or encouraging them to work from home when appropriate — can make a big difference in the health and satisfaction of your legal team.

5. Recognise and Reward Employee Achievements

Employees appreciate sincere and specific recognition of their contributions and achievements. Effectively recognising your team members will not only increase their sense of belonging in your law firm, it will simultaneously reduce any work-related anxiety, while increasing their commitment to their role, resulting in a happier and more productive employee.

However, it’s important that employee rewards are not forced or seem contrived. While there are many recognition-schemes your firm could adopt, it’s crucial to ensure that these acknowledgements do not become expectations or entitlements. Each recognition should be tailored to the individual employee and the nature of their contribution.

Implementing an employee recognition programme that effectively rewards the successes of your staff, will not only help you to reduce stress and engage your employees, it will also work to attract the top talent you want on your legal team.

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Do I stay, or do I go? How to make the decision whether to stay in your current law job or leave

  • November 12, 2018

A new job brings with it new challenges and the opportunity to make a positive change. But what if you’re on the fence about leaving your current role? Deciding whether to stay in a job or to leave is a complex process. For many legal professionals there is a whole range of considerations to make, from skills and experience, work-life balance and family commitments, to future career ambitions and meeting your goals.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, the choice has to be an individual one that suits you. That’s why we’ve put together this blog to walk you through important considerations and hopefully make the decision a little easier for you.

Weigh up your options

If the possibility of leaving your position is on your mind, it’s useful to start by weighing up your options. The first step is to consider your job role and the firm generally, and to look at all of the positives, followed by all of the negatives. Does it meet your career ambitions, are you achieving your own goals of where you’d like to be now or in the future? When you compare the two lists side by side, does one significantly outweigh the other or is there not much in it?

The next step is to think about your skills and experience: what value can you add? Hands-on experience is a real asset to any firm, so look for opportunities where your work experience could match up with demand. For example, it was announced earlier this year that the whiplash reforms have been pushed back a year to 2020, leading to an increase in personal injury jobs – ideal if that’s your background.

Research what’s out there, industry trends and how your skill set could fit that. Don’t forget about skills that aren’t strictly related to the work either. Things such as managerial experience, a second language, or knowledge of a particular sector can all be valuable to a potential employer, so make sure you highlight these aspects too. Many job seekers also find it beneficial to have a chat with a recruitment consultant as well as doing their own research.

The end of the year; time for a change?

If the thought of finding a new job is playing on your mind, the start of a new year is the ideal time to make a change. According to HR Magazine, January is the most likely time for employees to start a new job, with nearly a fifth of people (18%) saying that it’s the most popular time to move. If you’re making plans for the future of your career, a new year and a fresh start can give you the impetus to bring the plan into action.

Important considerations

When weighing up whether to leave your job or to stay, there are considerations to make that will impact your decision. One of the most common factors that crop up for legal professionals is the issue of work-life balance. Long hours can put a strain on your work as well as home life and can prove challenging, especially if there are partners or children to consider. If you feel that the firm’s culture isn’t supportive of you striking the right balance it can cause feelings of frustration and resentment to creep in, which will make you unhappy in the long term.

As well as the big issues, smaller factors add up and feed into your decision. Some of the most important considerations when deciding to stay or go are around ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors.

Push factors are exactly as they sound – things that make you want to look elsewhere. They might include:

  • Doesn’t meet with your career ambitions and goals.
  • Work life balance – are you able to achieve your life goals?
  • Feeling that the work isn’t suited to you, that you are not challenged by it, or that the workload is simply too much or too little.
  • Disagreeing with the overall direction of the firm.
  • Is the firm growing, or does it feel like it’s staid?
  • The general company culture doesn’t fit with your values.

Pull factors are things that draw you to a particular job role or company. These might include:

  • Career prospects – is there room for promotion within the firm?
  • Do they encourage people to learn and develop their skills and experience?
  • Location – would a move mean a shorter commute, for example?
  • Salary – money can be a powerful motivator and a higher salary can be an attractive pull for many people.
  • Benefits – the right benefits package that appeals to you can be very appealing and can give an indication as to how the firm treats their staff.
  • Will a move to the new firm help fulfil your own career plan?

How a recruitment agency can help you decide

A legal recruitment consultant can assist job seekers in a number of ways:

  • Overview of the market: consultants are in constant communication with law firms and are well versed in what the market looks like currently. Having a confidential discussion with a legal recruitment consultant will give you a good idea of what’s out there and what real employers are looking for.
  • A fresh perspective: having knowledge of what firms are looking for can be helpful for you, as consultants can encourage you to emphasise skills that you might not have known were sought after. They can also suggest roles that you may have otherwise overlooked, giving you a better chance at finding the job role you’re looking for, and hunt out new career opportunities that you might not otherwise have access to.
  • Feedback and insight: any legal recruiter worth their salt will have developed good relationships with their clients over time. They can ask employers for feedback, which candidates can sometimes feel shy or awkward about asking for. This gives you useful insight into how you can improve your performance next time.

Decision time

When you’ve weighed up your options, thought about whether the timing is right and considered all of the various push and pull factors, it’s time to make a decision. Your recruitment consultant can listen to your goals, offer words of wisdom and make suggestions. Ultimately, however, they cannot decide which job is right for you – only you can make the decision to stay in or leave a job.

So if you’re feeling a little unsure about what to do, perhaps increasing your awareness of what’s out there will help you decide. Our specialist legal recruitment consultants would be happy to talk through your options – why not give us a call? We’re on 01772 259 121 and would be pleased to hear from you, alternatively you can look at our vacancies online.

You may also find our last blog: How to tell whether your job is going well or not, useful in helping you evaluate what you’d like to do.

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Yet Another Route Into the Legal Profession

  • October 18, 2016

Historically the only way into a top law firm was by graduating with a law degree – more than likely from an elite university – and spending two years completing a training contract. However, the new government-backed Trailblazer scheme looks set to challenge the traditional route to becoming a qualified solicitor by creating an entirely new pathway into the profession.

From school to the legal profession

The new school-leaver scheme, which combines part time qualifications with on the job paralegal level work, looks set to carve out a new route into the profession. While some can be completed in as little as two years, others will give students the opportunity to fully qualify as a solicitor in just six years. Unlike many elite institutions which require students to hold three A-levels at A’s or above, legal apprenticeships on the whole only require applicants to hold an average of three C’s. The lower entry requirements will undoubtedly open the door to students from more diverse backgrounds.

From apprentice to lawyer

Global firm, Eversheds, looks set to pioneer the six year apprenticeship, and are now taking applications for 2016 starters. The internationally renowned law firm, which ranks 15th in the UK in terms of revenue, has announced that it will take on eight apprentices in September, all of which will be offered positions with the firm upon qualification. Successful applicants will be paid a starting salary of £15,200 outside London and £17,200 in London, a figure which will increase year on year.

Other firms such as Clyde & Co are offering level 3 trailblazer apprenticeships across the practices in its London, Manchester and Guildford offices. The ‘earn-while-you-learn’ scheme will see apprentices become qualified paralegals in just two years. International law firm DWF also recently announced it would be offering the level three paralegal apprenticeships in its Manchester head office across the firm’s commercial and insurance teams.

The benefits of apprenticeships will undoubtedly be felt by both candidates and employers. Successful applicants will need to be dynamic, tenacious and committed, but in return will receive fully qualified solicitor status without accumulating any of the debt associated with a law degree. While practices are likely to benefit from the increased social diversity that offering a new route into the profession will bring with it.

Want to find out more?

We run career events throughout the year for legal professionals at all stages of their career. Check out our events pages for more information

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