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Sign of the times
My father always taught me that there is time for everything. However lately it seems that time is certainly speeding up year on year and the truth is there isn’t actually enough time to do all the things that we may have hoped to achieve in our increasingly busy lives. Those of us that are career driven are constantly looking to progress and develop our skills so as to not become stale and obsolete within our relevant job fields.
In the busy world of legal recruitment, market forces are driving lawyers to move firms more frequently than ever before with some people jumping ship every 12 months in search for the right role. Gone are the days where the majority of fee earners within a law firm have worked there for at least a decade. These days, people are moving jobs for reasons such as more money, greater flexibility, better quality work, smaller caseloads or a healthier work-life balance. With external pressures such as personal interests, family life, relocation opportunities and the increased cost of living spiralling onwards and upwards, I can understand and appreciate why this is the case.
With the growth of insurance, personal injury and commercial markets, it sometimes seems as if there are more jobs than candidates. The knock on effect is that paralegals, CILEXs and solicitors that are keen to progress faster and move up the ladder quicker have a lot more opportunities to choose from. It is becoming part of our job to advise our clients of this market change and help them to embrace the changing culture.
As experienced consultants, we completely understand why some firms have a preference for people who have good longevity of service at one firm. However we also agree with the firms that understand that a person working at several law firms throughout their career is not a negative indication of their character but is nowadays more of a natural effect of current market forces.
Those lawyers who have worked at different law firms become employees who able to adapt well to change and are able to thrive in a variety of different office cultures and working environments. This, we can only imagine, makes them more of an attractive rounded individual as opposed to the other set of lawyers who would have only experienced one or two firms’ cultures throughout their careers therefore they may be quite stuck in their ways and find it difficult to settle in quickly to a new firm.
In conclusion, to candidates: make sure you have good reasons for any movements on your CV. To law firms, when choosing the right individuals to join your teams, it may be a good idea to take the time to look through the candidate’s cumulative experience and not focus too much on how many law firms they have worked at. As this change in longevity is simply another sign of the times.
For more information please visit our website BCL Legal.