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In a week where Walker Morris has announced it will be keeping 13 of its new qualifiers this year, I wanted to touch upon the state of the NQ market now we are coming the end of the season – and what a season it has been! So far BCL Legal have placed 53 NQ Solicitors into firms across the Midlands, North West, Yorkshire and the North East year to date (this is up from 36 for the same time last year). These have been in a range of firms from big internationals and nationals, to medium sized regionals and smaller high street practices.
We have seen a much higher rate of internal retention this year, which has seen fewer candidates on the market looking for NQ positions. That said as the season has progressed more and more attractive opportunities have arisen that have seen some candidates accept positions with other firms than their own, where they may not have secured their first choice discipline.
We have also seen an increased number of candidates relocating to secure their perfect role. It seems extreme to relocate to a city where you may not have any immediate ties, however with the number of JLD networks active in most of the big cities across the UK, you would be making new friends in no time. It seems a daunting prospect for some, but candidates who are open to relocation are opening themselves up to a whole new market of NQ positions, not to mention regional firms who have a lot to offer.
So as the season is coming to a close, if you still have not secured your dream position on qualification it is not too late! We are still recruiting country wide for positions in corporate, commercial real estate, property litigation, commercial litigation, family and private client to name a few. Unfortunately employment still isn’t seeing much sign of improvement however the occasional role does pop up from time to time. It is important to have a few options to consider. If you have your heart set on employment or family, it may be worth having a plan b. The NQ roles in this area are hugely competitive, so it may be worth having a second choice in an area where there are more jobs, and less competition. Whatever you decide our consultants are able to advise you on the best positions available.