Alex Carpenter
Alex Carpenter
Associate Director

Articles From the Team

How has Covid-19 impacted the NQ market?

Through no fault of their own, newly qualified solicitors have unarguably suffered most in the UK legal market since the pandemic began. Traineeships have been cut short or the route to qualification has been prolonged, and we witnessed the number of NQ positions that were available subside. Many newly qualified solicitors struggled to secure a role in their preferred discipline, and in some cases have been forced to settle for roles outside of the legal market all together.

At times like this it’s important to remember that some things are out of our control and whilst it seems unfair to have qualified amidst the turbulence of this time, stay confident and remember that the current state of affairs won’t last forever. If you presently find yourself in a role that you don’t particular enjoy or you feel you aren’t suited to, don’t panic - better times are ahead.

What does the future look like?

The good news - things are well on the way to recovery and confidence is returning to the legal market. We felt this shift more in December than any other month in 2020. It holds true that over the previous 6 months market uncertainty has halted firms from looking to hire at the usual pace, unfortunately especially with regards to junior positions. However, the last month or two has shown us that whilst there have been significant changes to workloads in some areas of law, the work is still there and in many cases it’s increasing. It’s evident that firms are starting to reconsider their recruitment position, as junior opportunities are being released more and more frequently, and we fully expect this to continue to improve this year.

Due to the current climate you can expect competition for these roles however, so it's important to make sure you’re ready to act! NQs across the UK are keeping a closer eye on arising opportunities more than ever before.

How can you respond/prepare?

It’s important to act fast and this is where having a legal recruiter working for you can come in especially handy - we can help you cover the market quickly and efficiently. Further advice:

  • Looking for a job is often time consuming and application processes can be long. We can often let you know about upcoming opportunities before they become available and apply for you - if you want a heads up, feel free to ask us: | T: 0845 241 0933 | E:
  • Keep your CV updated and ready to go
  • Make sure you know your CV inside out and back to front
  • Make sure you’re set for video interviews through Zoom/Teams - for further advice on this please request a copy of our Candidate Video Interview Guide
  • In addition, keep an eye out for upcoming BCL NQ Career Talks in your area

BCL’s highly experienced team of specialist legal recruiters cover all of the UK and Ireland. If you have any questions or you would like to arrange a confidential advisory chat, please get in touch.  We’re here to help you navigate the market in 2021 and beyond. 

Get ahead on the Career ladder

Search our Jobs Today!

Search Jobs