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In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of lawyers turning to document review. There are those who make a conscious decision along the lines of temporary being the new permanent. They choose to work in temporary contracts undertaking document review on an on-going basis. This can be for a variety of reasons, mainly money and flexibility.
Hourly rates on projects in the City can be high and along with plentiful overtime hours paid at time and half and double time many document review lawyers have the potential to earn more than their permanent peers. Working in this way also gives those who choose to the flexibility to take longer holidays. They tend to work hard on a project and then take a month or even longer off to trot the globe before returning to a new project to replenish the funds before the next trip. Their permanent peers are usually limited to 25-28 days annual leave in a calendar year.
At BCL we work with many top class lawyers from magic circle equivalent firms in Australia and New Zealand, who come to London on a Tier 5, Spousal or Ancestry visa and a large proportion of them work as document review lawyers, sometimes for the entire time that they are in London. Most either return home to join a good quality firm as an Associate and many get snapped up into permanent posts with top City firms.
Document review can therefore be a smart and often lucrative way to fill what might otherwise be a gap on a CV. Yet I often speak to candidates, usually those who have only ever worked in a permanent role and are for whatever reason between roles that have a perception that working as a temporary document review lawyer is going to devalue their CV and make it harder for them to secure a permanent role in a highly competitive market. This misconception comes from not being able to distinguish the temporary document review lawyers who work in this way as a career choice and those like the Australian and New Zealand qualified lawyers that we work with who choose to fill a gap on their CV wisely.
After all its better to have a 6 month stint on a CV working for a top city or magic circle firm as a document review lawyer, than having the same gap doing nothing!
We work with candidates who are seeking document review work and firms who are looking for temporary document lawyers. For further information on how we can assist you please do not hesitate to get in touch.