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Choices choices choices

As the summer draws to a close so too does the NQ season for most firms across the UK in all disciplines. Some will continue recruiting, either sporadically or more structured throughout the year, while others will wait until they have a definite need in the next few months. On another note, as the summer draws to a close so too does the music festival season in the UK. There are a few more to come, but mostly the next hurrah of festivals will start the musical calendar off in Spring. But while we’re waiting, all over the country on village greens, parks and fields, stages will be erected for the independent festival circuit. Most of us won’t be aware of these, they tend to be favoured by the locals and travelling musos. But these are still great entertainment and full of brilliant and talented musicians from all over the country. Stay with me, there is a point to all of this…

According to Google, Wikipedia and other sources there are over 1000 music festivals in the UK in any given calendar year. These range in shape, size and genre to include the small Folk festival in the charming Dorset town of Wimborne hosted to no more than a few hundred people (I went once, it was brilliant fun and the local ales were glorious) to the UK’s premier Heavy Metal festival Sonisphere in Knebworth, Hertfordshire where some 40,000 rocked out to the iconic Iron Maiden (cue my rock hand in the air as I attempt to type one handed…) With the more notable festivals such as Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight taking centre stage in the media it’s easy to forget about the others. For aspiring musicians the smaller festival is often where they find their rhythm (musical pun most definitely intended) and an opportunity to learn the ways of the stage. This is something I experienced on a very small scale whilst attempting the life of a drummer for some years. But what I have come to learn, through my musical exploits and as a legal recruiter, is that there are a wealth of opportunities in front of you to display, practice and master your craft but the choice of venue and stage are vital to success. The same can be said for NQs looking to make their mark and kick off their career in commercial property; there are a wealth of opportunities up and down the country, and most definitely here in Birmingham, with larger national and international practices as well as smaller regional firms for you to display your talents as a commercial property lawyer, master your craft and forge your career.

According to the Legal500 and hg.org legal resources there are around 250 firms across the UK offering commercial property services to their clients nationwide and internationally. For an NQ solicitor seeking to specialise in commercial property this statistic alone might make your eyes light up! There are clearly a lot of opportunities. However, choice plays a vital part and there are a number of variables to be considered. Let’s consider the type of work you have the most experience in or that you would enjoy the most, the reputation of the firm and of course the location? In principle, the same thought process is applied when deciding which festival to go to. As an amateur musician the prospect of a gig is always exciting and the assumption is always the bigger the stage the greater the opportunity. The same can be said for the festival goer, wanting to see the best bands on the grandest stage. But is this necessarily the case? You want to talk to your agent and promoter to research the venue, see who has played there before, what you can reasonably expect in the size of your audience and so on. The same can be said in principle if you’re trying to pick a festival; do you want to hear heavy rock and be surrounded by battered leather jackets, obscure piercings and a distinct smell of cider at Download (my personal favourite) or would you prefer a more eclectic range at Glastonbury? This thought process can also be likened to the NQ choosing where to apply to. What do you know about the firm? What type of work do they undertake and who are their clients? Will you be able to climb the career ladder here? Will you have the right levels of supervision and client contact to help you develop and become expert in your field? In both worlds of music and law the obvious choice appears to be the larger stage, but you may find that the smaller regional firm could give you these opportunities as well and they shouldn’t be discounted.

Keep in mind all of this is my opinion, as a lover of music and a specialist legal recruiter. Your choices are based on your personal preferences, but the decision is crucial and we want to help you make the right decision. So, what’s really important? Is it the location, reputation, quality of the work, etc..? Take a look back at what I said earlier: there are festivals all over the country ranging in size and genre. So, you can put on your flowery headbands, hunter wellies and aviator sunglasses to join the crowds at Glastonbury, or you can be dancing around an open fire listening to an amateur folk band while sipping the local ales on a quaint village green. Which would make you happier? The reality is simple; both of these options – a leading national practice or a smaller regional practice – can deliver fantastic training and a platform from which you can launch your career in commercial property.

For more information please contact Gishan Abeyratne or visit our website BCL Legal.

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