Angharad Warren
Angharad Warren

Articles From the Team

NQ Careers Seminar – Birmingham

What a fantastic evening was had by all at BCL Legal Birmingham’s annual NQ Careers Talk held at The Botanist on Thursday evening. Without an empty seat in the room, despite 80 mph gales and the onslaught of storm Doris, the seminar was a huge success with 60 or so in attendance. The event was held in association with the Birmingham Trainee Solicitors’ Society and we would like to extend a special thanks to Amardeep Bahia who helped us to organise the event.

This year we tried something a little difference and instead of holding the talk in a conference room or meeting room at one of the large firms we work with, we decided to make things a little more informal by hiring out the basement room in trendy nightspot The Botanist. This facilitated an environment whereby trainee solicitors could have a few drinks/canapes whilst mingling with their peers as well as talking to any one of our eight Birmingham based legal recruitment consultants that attended the event. Getting to know your peers and the legal professionals in the Birmingham market at this early stage in your careers is vital for building up your future network so we hope that everyone found that this years’ event was conducive to that.

We were also joined by two guest speakers from Trowers & Hamlins; Victoria Ball and Sarah Williams.

Victoria is a Senior Associate in the Projects and Construction department at Trowers having previously spent a number of years in-house at Interserve plc and Carillion plc, subsequent to training and post qualification experience gained at Pinsent Masons. In previous years, we have always selected a Partner from one of the large commercial firms in Birmingham as a guest speaker but this year we felt that having a speaker who is still relatively junior in the grand scheme of things (Victoria qualified in 2009) would make for someone the trainees could relate quite easily to. Given that Victoria has worked in both private practice and within in-house environments she was perfectly poised to give an insight into both. Victoria also conveyed to the trainees that your career path doesn’t need to be linear; you may need to take many twists and turns before you figure out what type of solicitor you want to be and that’s ok!

Sarah Williams is a Recruitment manager at Trowers & Hamlins and responsible for the firm’s permanent fee earner recruitment across Birmingham, Manchester and Exeter. Sarah gave the trainees some really useful insights into what a recruiting manager or partner might be looking for when they review your CV. She also talked through the interview process and gave so many useful interview tips that even the consultants at BCL Legal were taking notes!

We would like to extend a huge thanks to both Sarah and Victoria for giving up their time to speak at the event – their contributions were invaluable and very well received by all.

Feedback from this years’ attendees was really positive, what we wanted people to take away from the evening was that we are on hand to help now and to help guide you through the process to qualification but that equally if you are staying put at your training firm we can be a sounding board should you have any queries or concerns that you need to talk through. The goal for us is to build long term relationships with all trainee/NQ solicitors so that even if you don’t need our services directly at this point in your career, when the time does come to consider your options we are there for you.

Chloe and I talked about the qualification process, the legal market in general, issues affecting the market including Brexit and Trump as well more general information & advice on the qualification process, CVs and interviews (both internal and external).

We look forward to catching up with the BTSS again at the annual AGM which we are sponsoring on the 29 March. This is election night for the new BTSS committee and for any trainee solicitors or indeed paralegals that aren’t already involved with the BTSS, we would strongly encourage you to get on board. As well as copious amounts of free drinks (via your kind sponsors!) the events really give you a chance to get to know your peers and find out as much as possible about the legal market around you.

If you missed the careers talk and would like to have a confidential chat about your upcoming qualification or would like a copy of our NQ Handbook and the slides from the evening together with our NQ CV template, then please contact Angharad Warren at BCL Legal or via Linkedin.

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