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To be retained or not to be retained? That is the question
So far so good for this years crop of trainee solicitors due to qualify in 2013. On the whole most of the large firms in the regions are likely to be able to offer NQ jobs to most if not all of their trainees. London firms too seem set to be able to do the same. Of course, whether all of the offers firms make are accepted is a different matter that I will come on to later.
Its very apparent that whilst larger firms are able to make offers, the small and a lot of the medium size firms are struggling to justify the need to recruit. There is good news for those trainees not being kept on through no fault of their own as many of the larger national firms and smaller boutique practices will have gaps to fill. Either because they don’t have any trainees or what they were able to offer to a trainee wasn’t accepted.
We have seen a significant increase in NQ vacancies over the last 2 years within commercial property, corporate, defendant professional indemnity, defendant PI and insurance fraud. This is set to continue this year so if you are not going to be offered a role on qualification all is not lost. For example if commercial litigation is your first choice and you didn’t get offered that with the firm you are training with, our advice would be to consider any area of litigation as its unlikely there will be multiple commercial litigation roles available at other firms. A commercial litigation seat can be the basis of applying for roles in professional indemnity, property litigation, banking litigation, construction litigation and even insurance fraud.
The large firms have invariably struggled to recruit into their real estate teams as their own trainees commonly turn down roles in this area as its not everybody’s first choice. So a real estate seat completed with a large or smaller firm can mean a plethora of choice of opportunities with top tier firms.
Keep an open mind and consider what other factors are important to you such as location, size of firm, training and supervision. The jobs market in 2013 is largely unforgiving. Yes its fairly busy but you need to be quick and more often than not very flexible in terms of what area you are willing to practice in.