There are various times when Lawyers choose to seek alternative employment. It could be that you are good at your job and want to progress and the firm you are at doesn’t afford such an opportunity, you might not like your colleagues or are simply worked too hard and suffering an unhappy work/life balance. Whatever the reason and despite the above, one of the key times to make a move is between 0-2 years PQE.
If the firm you have trained at does not have a position in your chosen subject, you should try to seek a relevant role elsewhere. It is difficult to retrain and if left too long, will result in having to take a salary cut.
In addition, in a candidate short market, National firms will often look to mid tier firms for talent which provides bright, ambitious lawyers who have trained at smaller firms, an opportunity to take advantage and benefit from the quality work and training that these firms afford to their junior lawyers.
2 Year PQE
Candidates with circa two years PQE are the most sought after. The steepest learning curve is between 0-2 years so candidates at this level will have a sound understanding of their discipline and can be left to some extent unsupervised. You will be able to perform simple advisory tasks and run your own caseload. You will have gained an understanding of what is required and expected in terms of billing and will start to be profitable at this stage.
In addition, you will be relatively inexpensive still and hopefully not knocking at the Partnership door, hence will not be a threat to those who have time served.