Articles From the Team

5 tips for newly qualified solicitors

Trainee solicitors coming up to qualification usually fall into one of two categories.

The first being the ‘safe and secure’: NQs are offered their ideal/dream role at their training firm. Therefore, no stress in looking for a new job! Or, you’ll fall into the second category: the unknown.

The latter can be a daunting position to be in, particularly when up until this moment, you will have followed a set plan: from your undergraduate studies to completing your GDL/LPC, to securing your training contract. Now you’re faced with making new decisions that you haven’t had time to think about.

So, here are my top five tips if you happen to fall into the second category; to help you prepare for your forthcoming job search.

  1. Think about the training seat you most enjoyed and you’d like to work in. As part of the process, it’s important to factor in the firms that specialise in your selected area and how secure/stable the market is for the sector.
  2. Having thought about the sector and the firms you want to apply to, it’s time to get your CV in order. Think about how you can present your experience in the best way possible. You don’t have to limit your CV to two pages, but then again, it doesn’t have to replicate a war and peace novel! The golden rule is to include your most relevant experience, whether this includes handling your own cases (or assisting), what the transactions you’ve worked on look like, and the nature and scale of those claims. If you have a second choice/back-up option, it’s worth preparing a second CV. Essentially, there’s no limit on CV variations. It all comes down to relevance.
  3. Think about your geographical location. More specifically, do you have the flexibility to look outside the city/region you are in? If a firm can offer you the perfect role but it means commuting or relocating, can you do this? Ask yourself whether it’s truly feasible and practical. There’s nothing worse than applying for the perfect role in an imperfect location and then trying to force it… believe me, it never works out.
  4. Speak to your legal recruitment consultant if you have one; keep this circle very small. Ideally, try and work with one agency. This helps to avoid duplication and CV ownership, and generally, ensures a smooth and transparent process for both you and your prospective employer. The benefit of using a well-regarded agency is you can leverage their inside knowledge of the legal market to help you put your best foot forward.
  5. Only apply to jobs where if you’re invited to interview, you’ll attend. There is no point making applications for the sake of making applications; you must be fully committed to the process. Applying to jobs and subsequently failing to attend an interview doesn’t reflect well. The world of legal is small: a recent LinkedIn study revealed we’re only three connections away from a person.

At BCL Legal, we have over 50 consultants who work discipline-specific markets in one geographical location. Therefore, you receive the most tailored service: advice and guidance; each BCL Legal consultant is in tune with their respective market.

If you’re coming up to qualification and keen to have a chat please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Other NQ-related blogs

Newly qualified solicitor? How to make sure your law firm is looking after you!

Landing NQ solicitor jobs: an interview refresher

Get ahead on the Career ladder

Search our Jobs Today!

Search Jobs