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How to Secure that all important Newly-Qualified Position

It is that time of year when firms are now telling their anxious Trainee Solicitors which Departments are going to have jobs on offer for them come September. It is a nerve-wracking wait for many. Some firms are better than others at putting their Trainees out of their misery as early in the year as possible, however for those who won’t find out until August, you really do need to ensure you are making alternative enquiries to protect your career. What if that dream job in employment law does not materialise? And if it does, what if there is internal competition for that one job?

Hopefully your transition into life as a qualified solicitor will be a smooth one. You will receive notification that the job you have been waiting for is indeed going to exist in September and it has your name on it. Congratulations to you!

Unfortunately however, this scenario is not going to be reality for the majority of Trainee Solicitors. So, what happens when your dreams are knocked off course and you discover that, as of September, there is no job for you with your training firm upon qualification?

Well, that is where we come in! At BCL Legal we cover every specialism across the country and, being the largest independent legal recruiter outside of London and on every major firms’ PSL, we are always amongst the first to receive notification of any new NQ job opportunity as soon as it is released. This means that your application will be submitted professionally and efficiently ahead of the competition – absolutely vital in such a tight legal recruitment market.

You will know what specialism you want to qualify into, I’m sure… ideally! However the number of newly-qualified jobs for each specialism varies widely across the board. Take that elusive employment law position mentioned earlier, newly qualified employment law positions are always very few and far between because not only is it one of the most popular specialisms amongst Trainee Solicitors for any given year, it is also the one that will be filled internally first because of this fact.

So, to make sure you are not going to be joining the ranks of the unemployed in September which, without meaning to scare you, is only 3 months off now (a standard notice period) – and bear in mind very little happens in August as everyone is on holiday – you really do need to give some serious consideration to your second choice specialism, and your third, and your last resort options. This doesn’t mean giving up your dream of being a litigator, but instead of sticking to general commercial litigation, how about specialising further into say property litigation? – as it happens, one of the most highly-sought after job specialisms by firms at the moment. That said, it is still wise to consider more dramatically changing your specialism options – so, you never wanted to be a commercial property solicitor, but something has got to pay your mortgage or rent in 3 months time!! In fact a Real Estate Partner with a leading Birmingham practice openly admits he hated commercial property as a Trainee and only took the job in that department as that was all there was. Now he loves it and look what taking his last resort option has done for his career!

As well as being flexible with regards to specialism, it will hugely increase your chances of success if you can consider as wide a geographical area as possible. OK so you’re settled in Birmingham with a close knit group of friends, but with no job and no money to socialise with them anymore, things might look rather different! Obviously if you’re a home owner, have a Partner and/or children to consider, relocation is understandably not such an easy option for you, but that said, if you are adamant you want to be that employment law solicitor and you are also the future bread winner of the family, you might have to give relocation (or weekly commuting) realistic consideration.

Everybody’s circumstances are different and it goes without saying that some people are able to be more flexible when searching for that all important newly qualified position to kick start your career as a qualified solicitor, than others, but the more flexible you are willing to be with both your specialism preferences and geographical locations, the greater your chance of success.

Therefore think of your dream job, then decide what would be your second option – the same specialism in a wider geographical area or a second choice specialism within the same geographical location? Then drop your criteria down again, going to a third specialism and/or widening your geographical search area further, until you reach your worst case scenario – ie one up from signing on!!

At BCL legal we are now in the midst of ‘newly qualified’ season and September jobs are being filled on a daily basis. Don’t get left behind! Call BCL Legal with as open a mind as possible as to the newly qualified job you want and you will soon be starting on your career as a qualified Solicitor. Who knows, you might even end up discovering that what you thought was your last choice resort, is actually your dream job! Remember that Real Estate Partner in Birmingham?!

Therefore, please call Tracy Harris at BCL Legal, in strict confidence to discuss a whole range of newly-qualified jobs. Tracy places solicitors and legal executives at all levels into private practice across the West and South Midlands (Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire) and the Thames Valley (Oxfordshire and Berkshire) in a wide range of disciplines to include commercial property, corporate, employment, commercial litigation, property litigation, construction and family law. What are you waiting for?

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