Kelly-Anne  Willis
Kelly-Anne Willis
Associate: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

Get out of town! A new direction for NQ lawyers?

After almost two years of hard work, qualification is upon you in 2019. For some, it can be a bittersweet occasion. Maybe there’s no opportunity for you to stay on at your current firm? Maybe there is an opportunity but it’s in an area you disliked during your various seats? It could be that there is an opportunity for you, but you feel it’s the right time to move on.

Around the time of qualification, many have a dream to move onto bigger city firms, which has many advantages. However, if this doesn’t work out the way you want it to, many are left thinking: what now? How about an out-of-town law firm?

Out-of-town firms are often overlooked by NQs; I’m unsure why. Let me explain…

You might like to read: I'm a newly qualified solicitor and I don't know what to do: stay put or move?

It’s always better to have a job than not have a job

Not securing a job on qualification because you’re holding out for a bigger city firm means that while you’re off work, there are other NQs stacking up experience; potentially leaving you behind. Then there’s the inevitable CV gap you’ll have to explain.

You’ll have the chance to make more of a difference

Teams are usually smaller in out-of-town firms, meaning you’re more likely to be hands-on in your work. You’ll usually have your own clients and matters and see files through from instruction to completion. As a result of this, you’ll be encouraged to figure out solutions to problems; bouncing ideas off the partner who’s encountered these problems numerous times and is likely to be sat next to you

You don’t run the risk of specialising too soon

It’s easy to fall into the trap of specialising in an area you don’t like at the beginning of your career. When working in an out-of-town department you have the chance to work on a broad range of matters, which would naturally take you down a niche path later down the line. Cast your net wide! Use this time to see what you like and dislike. Become an expert at the basics, then you’re able to approach your career, and of course your work, with a well-rounded view!

You’ll become a pro at those necessary softer skills

You will have so much more opportunity to go out and develop business, meet other lawyers, meet clients and get your name out there. So when (and if!) you do go on to work at a bigger firm at a later stage the people who matter might already know who you are!

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