Articles From the Team

NQ hiring trends: free legal jobs and careers advice

We’re seeing a whirlwind of activity in the newly qualified (NQ) lawyer market; plenty of legal jobs roles are being released by firms externally, and subsequently snapped up by active candidates.

We’re a mere three months away from the September qualification dates and the good news is there are bags of options for you; reflective of the strength of the legal market!

For those of you who haven’t secured an internal role, or are being told there’s nothing available, please read on!

While we have a number of practices seeking to retain their NQs, I work with plenty who are looking externally; on the hunt to find NQs who are ambitious and enthusiastic young lawyers - shape and develop.

As an NQ solicitor, you’re highly sought after!

If I trained at a small firm, how easy is it to get an NQ job at a larger firm?

Firms are becoming exceptionally flexible when it comes to role-filling requirements. Frequently, we’re seeing lawyers who have trained at smaller firms take the step up to larger regional and national/international firms.

What if I don't have the academics?

We’re also seeing firms relax their usual academic requirements in situations where good training has been obtained and they can see real potential. The hands-on experience gained at a smaller firm can set you apart from your peers. It often arms you with a commercial approach, and business development and client management skills, which have become even more important since the recession. If you can demonstrate these skills, you can go a long way.

What if I don't have the right experience for a particular role?

Law firms are even recruiting those who don’t have direct experience in the specified area. I’m currently recruiting for a well-known international law firm that’s adopted an open-minded approach to their search: looking to the transferrable skills a successful lawyer candidate might have; with less focus on whether they’ve trained in this niche area. This is pretty commonplace across banking, tax, real estate, construction and commercial roles so don't be put off in making enquiries about a particular job because you haven't had a training seat in the area. You'd be surprised at how many transferable skills you’ve gained throughout your training!

You need to be in it to win it! It’s a highly competitive market across all areas and disciplines; because of this, those candidates who are prepared and ready to go are seeing the better success rate when it comes to securing their dream role.

Are you qualifying in September? Need some more careers advice and/or guidance?

If you’re not prepared or you feel unprepared, don’t panic! You have time! Please get in touch for a confidential discussion about the newly-qualified market and your options.

Alternatively, if you’re in the Nottingham area, join us for the Nottinghamshire Junior Lawyers Division Careers Seminar on 27th June and a face-to-face chat (and drink!).

BCL Legal holds numerous careers advice events throughout the year, including seminars and CV clinics.

Related blogs

Top tips for success at your NQ interview

For more information please contact BCL Legal or email us at

Get ahead on the Career ladder

Search our Jobs Today!

Search Jobs