Last Tuesday evening, BCL Legal’s Yorkshire Private Practice team hosted the first careers talks of the season with the Leeds Junior Lawyers Division at Tiger Tiger in Leeds.
Catherine Henry, Manager of the Yorkshire Private Practice team gave a detailed and comprehensive talk on how to approach your job search on the lead up to qualification, when is the best time to apply for positions, as well as how to best structure your CV. She also discussed what to do if there are no positions available in your chosen practice area or location. It is very important to be open minded in your job search as an NQ. If your first choice is not available close to home, would you consider relocation? If relocation is not an option would you consider other practice areas to qualify into? These factors are all important considerations when looking for a NQ position on qualification. BCL’s consultants work in vertical markets, so that means we are each able to assist you with your search in all disciplines across all regions of the UK. You may end up dealing with a few of us! But it means your applications will be dealt with personally, and by experts in their field.
Next up was Tom Fleet, Senior Associate on our in-house team, who discussed what it is like to move in-house after working in private practice, is it possible as a newly qualified, what attributes are required for a move in-house, and when is the best time to consider a move in-house. Working in-house can sometimes be misconstrued as a less pressured environment that private practice, with no targets or billable hours, and 9 to 5 hours. The reality can often be quite the opposite. As an in-house lawyer you are often seen as the legal face of the business, and are more often than not in a very small team, where you are required to be on hand to offer legal advice to the employees across all levels of the business from the chief executives to the administrators. You can work on global acquisition deals one day, to a water cooler contract the next. A very varied role, but certainly not for the faint hearted. Tom is an expert on in-house positions across the Yorkshire and North East regions, and is on hand to offer advice to NQ’s considering a move in-house, and the type of role that may potentially suit them and their personalities.
Morag Joyce – Commercial Real Estate Partner at DAC Beachcroft in Leeds took the mic to talk to our NQ’s about interview techniques, and what she as an interviewer likes to see from potential candidates. Morag’s anecdotes had us all chuckling as she described her experiences interviewing 20 or so identical young apprentices in her career in personnel before she came into the law. Morag really god across that personality is key in an interview – she wants to know about you – and she wants you to know about them. “Be interested as well as be interesting” – I think valuable advice for any NQ looking to stand out above the rest in the race for NQ positions this coming year. What makes you different? The all important interests and hobbies section of your CV really is worth spending some time on – you never know who might have the same interests as you.
Finally Alistair Maiden – in-house Senior Associate at Asda in Leeds also came along to speak about his experiences moving in-house, and talked to us about what it is really like to be an in-house lawyer. Many a funny story was shared about his journey to becoming an in-house lawyer, and how he has got to where he is today. He really talked in great detail about what it means to be an in-house lawyer. He is genuinely excited to be in work for 7.15 every morning, working throughout the day on dozens of contracts, brain storming ideas with the board one minute, to implementing new business initiatives the next. He was an integral part of coming up with Asda Tyres – now one of the largest tyre providers in the UK. Never a dull moment for Alistair as an in-house lawyer, and our NQ’s were intrigued to talk to him further after over a few drinks at the bar.
So this years talks are over, but we will be back next year with advice for all trainees and newly qualified solicitors looking for new roles. If you were unable to get to the talks, and would like to speak to any of us on a confidential basis about the options that are open to you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
For more information please contact Rozie Rhodes or visit our website BCL Legal.