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It isn’t often in this day and age that you get the opportunity to take a new direction in your legal career. Candidates often approach BCL Legal to enquire about diversifying into a different area of law from the one that they have gained post qualified experience in and we regularly have to explain why we cannot assist.
Clients use an agency for various different reasons but more often then not my insurance litigation clients come to me as they recognise that BCL Legal is a legal specialist and that as a consultant who spends 100% of her time on defendant insurance and claimant personal injury roles I am the go to person in this area.
Agents are rarely of use to candidates looking for a career change. The reason for this is that an agency fee is made payable by the client to the agency for the introduction of a candidate who is employed by the firm. There are very few “luxury” hires in the current market – if there is sign off on the recruitment budget for a hire it is because the role is business critical. There isn’t spare budget for firms to be paying fees for candidates that are a re-train option.
However, there are exceptions to this rule for candidates who are open to a sideways step rather than a complete departure from what they handled previously.
For example I have been able to assist:
• Personal injury lawyers with good academics looking to move into clinical negligence roles
• Commercial litigation solicitors looking to move into professional indemnity and property damage positions
• EL/PL fee earners looking to move into industrial disease roles
• Claimant personal injury lawyers looking to move into defendant roles
• Fee earners with strong civil procedure rule knowledge and an RTA or EL/PL background looking to move into insurance fraud
Whilst an agency may hold you back when looking for a career change that shouldn’t stop you from making direct applications and using your own internal network to find a role that will give you the opportunity to gain new skills. Where there is some synergy with what you have previously handled and what you want to do moving forwards speak to your recruitment consultant and get an honest appraisal of whether they can assist and what advice they have for you. An agent who doesn’t have the time to give you a steer on the market when it doesn’t directly benefit them isn’t an agent worth using now or in the future.
If you would like to know more then please visit our website BCL Legal.