Articles From the Team
Five reasons why I find legal recruitment more fulfilling than legal practice
I speak to and meet lots of new people every single day
Our job is all about people: colleagues, new candidates and developing relationships with those in law firms (from HR to Senior Partner).
No one day is the same and to a very large extent, it’s down to the individual (recruiter) who they choose to build relationships with. There’s no barrier and no end to the potential.
The role is very sociable. We hold regular events with the law society, trainee and young lawyer groups across the country. We’re also invited to speak or advise at law schools and at NQ events as well as specific women's or in-house events or awards.
In this job, you could go out every night of the week to expand your contacts and elevate your profile. It’s a standing joke in the office that whenever I go on holiday I bump into a solicitor I know or I make a new ‘legal’ connection.
It’s all down to me
I don’t rely on a firm or an equity partner in my department to bring in the files for me to bill on.
I’ve always treated recruitment as my own business – even when I worked at Michael Page and I was a teeny wheel in a big global cog.
I make the calls, I choose who to meet, I write the job adverts and I prioritise based on the clients and candidates I know most and who I know I can do the best job for. I like the responsibility of the job. It means I always want to do well.
What I like is if you’re prepared to graft, listen, learn, keep on top of processes and admin and apply emotional intelligence, you can get heaps of satisfaction in this job.
When I was a newly qualified solicitor (age 24) in a law firm, I looked upwards and thought it would take me a very long time to see any type of equity stake. I wanted to work hard but I also wanted to benefit from it as soon as possible. In recruitment, you’re given a ‘desk’ to develop.
At BCL Legal in particular, we’re unique because we offer specific niches of work, so recruitment consultants become an expert in one field; otherwise, you can’t offer the best advice.
I get so tired of recruiters who want to place someone anywhere; as long as they get paid. Our reputation is built on creating long-lasting relationships. We receive so many heartfelt testimonials from lawyers we’ve placed at the start of their career; in jobs that were perfect for them to develop into the lawyer they are today. Because of this, there’s a huge percentage of people who come back to us when they’re looking for their next job. This is one of the most rewarding parts of the job for me.
I found working in the law too quiet and I was lonely. Back then, open-plan workspaces weren’t popular. I worked in a small office without any natural light and a secretary outside! I love working in a big office with noise, and people who are similar to me. We get on so well and have a belly laugh almost every day. We even have an office dog! We have to share information because there may be two or three of us working for the same client or the same lawyer so we talk all the time - not just at the water cooler. We go out a lot together and we really know each other. One of our values is: ‘We Care’. Practising kindness to one another is something BCL’ers work hard at and cherish.
You get out what you put in
Legal recruitment is very black and white but it takes time to learn what we do. I’m always surprised when we interview potential recruiters who are in the law and they think the job is easy. It takes a lot of resilience and tenacity some days.
Things don’t always go the way you want them to. We’re working with people who have lives and nobody ever knows what tomorrow will bring. What I like is if you’re prepared to graft, listen, learn, keep on top of processes and admin and apply emotional intelligence, you can get heaps of satisfaction in this job. Most job processes take between three weeks and three months so you don’t have to wait too long to feel like you've done a great job.
There’s nothing better than meeting a client or a candidate years later (preferably at a bar) who says thank you for making a great introduction. I love it.