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Your Legal Career in 2021 – How to Start Planning for Success Now

  • December 11, 2020

The end of one year and the start of another is typically when our thoughts start to turn reflective about our work and home life.

Questions to ask yourself to further in your legal career:

  • Are you where you want to be?
  • Did the challenges of this year highlight that you’re not entirely happy in your current role?
  • Are you where you want to be in your legal career?
  • Did you level-up this year and want to flex your new skills in a role with more responsibilities and a higher salary?
  • Have you been toying with the idea of a change but have been dissuaded thinking that now isn’t the ‘right time’?

All of these thoughts will be going around in the minds of many legal employees. Even more so this year, after such significant shifts have happened in both our work and personal lives.

Today we look at how legal candidates can start planning now to take advantage of legal career opportunities in 2021.

What Do You Want from Your Legal Career?

This year has provided many of us with additional time to reflect that we didn’t know we needed.

The extreme circumstances of lockdown have been the catalyst for some significant mindset shifts.

Some legal employees found that during their firm’s time of crisis that they were truly working within a team and for an organisation that they were happy with – for others, it provided the clarity to realise that they were not.

In some cases, there might have been certain career opportunities that you were promised which have not come to fruition, and this year might have shone a light on your employer’s dedication to your training development.

The rise of remote work this year has highlighted the importance of flexibility for both legal employers and their employees.

Even next year, when the vaccine means that people can safely return to offices, how many will want to on a full-time basis?

Many legal employees have seen the value of not just remote work, but a flexible approach to working, and will be looking for this from their employer.

I spoke to a candidate recently who was looking for a new role due to their employer’s inability to be flexible with remote work even though it was a success during the lockdown, and I’m sure there are many other candidates in a similar position.

Another area where candidates are placing their focus on is their training and development in a post-pandemic world.

Training and Development

Of course, this year has not been easy for many firms, but employees must feel assured that their employer is invested in their development.

Some law firms were quick to adapt digitally and offer staff all of the help and support they needed to work from home successfully. But other legal professionals have found that they were not supported in a way that is conducive with career progression.

Even despite the pandemic, there are legal firms who have continued to train and develop their teams this year.

Are you regularly being supported and offered training and development in your current legal role, or has it been put on hold because of the pandemic?

If you feel that your employer is not providing you with substantial development opportunities, this is a sign to look for a role with a company that will.

So, where are the challenges and the opportunities within the legal sector for 2021?

Redundancies and Skills Shortages

Like all industries, the legal sector has had areas which have suffered due to the pandemic and others which have thrived.

Personal Injury law is one area where we have seen redundancies, whereas property law, Conveyancing and Family Law has been in high demand.

There are currently skills shortages across Conveyancing and Property Law, so consider this if you are considering a 2021 career move, but talk to your legal recruiter about where the opportunities are in your area.

If you are going to be applying for new legal jobs in 2021, now is the time to revisit your CV.

Getting Your Legal CV Ready

January is historically a buoyant time for the jobs market, and 2021 is set to be no different.

When looking for a new role, you will want to appear to prospective employers as the legal candidate to invite to an interview – and you can do this with some tweaks to your CV.

Think about what you can offer potential employers based on the challenges you have faced and the growth you have achieved this year.

Employers are looking for emotionally intelligent employees with a growth mindset who can flex. Demonstrate how you have overcome challenges this year in regards to remote working, helping your employer as well as your colleagues through the challenges of Covid.

Digital skills and the willingness to learn are going to be essential in 2021 too.

For example, “In my role this year, I used my previous cloud computing knowledge to help our firm make the switch from office-based to home working. I stepped up and offered to be the facilitator and help my colleagues remotely with WFH challenges such as digital file-sharing and taking digital payments”.

If you need assistance tailoring your legal CV, we can help. Contact us here or call our team of legal career experts on 01772 259 121 to find out more.

Next Steps?

Where do you want to be at the end of 2021 in your legal career?

Some great and underutilised and underdeveloped legal candidates are staying put because of perceived risk, but now is the time to think about what you want.

We can help you with career planning, CV writing, your legal job search and setting up interviews.

Get in touch with us by calling 01772 259 121 or contact us here to discuss your legal career options for the new year.

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.

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