Articles From the Team

Joining the right firm can make all the difference

Having returned to England and BCL Legal, it’s amazing to see how people’s careers have developed since I have left. Many candidates I placed back in 2012 are now heads of departments, managers and in some cases my clients. A number of my old clients are now equity partners or have moved onto exciting new ventures where they are leading new and growing divisions.

However, if we think back – everyone has to start somewhere. So often I hear candidates saying “I won’t move unless they can confirm a training contract”. Nine times out of 10, if you join a good, stable firm and you work hard in that business, firms will offer a training contract. Ultimately, proving yourself in a firm is the best interview you can do and most firms favour internal applicants over external (lets face it, they know you, your pros and cons).

Moving to a firm as an assistant or a paralegal, is not a step back, it’s a step forward. Even if your current firm offers you a training contract to stay, you have to think to yourself, why did it take me leaving for you to offer this, moreover what sort of solicitor do I want to be, will the firm I am moving to make me a better solicitor? Can I see myself staying with my current firm post qualification?

It can be so daunting making these initial moves in your career but its important to remember that nothing is guaranteed ever and you have to remember the reasons you wanted to move. If a firm doesn’t want to promote you into a training contract whilst you are working hard and loyal to them, then offering you one when you have one foot out the door shouldn’t keep you.

I recently had the pleasure of witnessing an individual I placed in 2012 as an assistant, winning the 2016 LFS young conveyancer of the year award. This is a prime example of how making the right move to the right firm can really develop your career.

So my advice to anyone seeking a training contract, is be open minded. Just because a firm doesn’t offer you a training contract within the first 5 minutes, doesn’t mean you will not achieve one. Join a good firm that meets your expectations, work hard and apply internally. Don’t keep jumping firms in the vain attempt to qualify because ultimately, loyalty is so important when firms are picking their trainees.

For more information contact BCL Legal.

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