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NQ solicitor jobs: all your questions answered

NQ solicitor jobs are competitive and as you begin on the NQ solicitor journey, you want to give yourself the best chance for success.

The area of law you qualify into will have a huge impact on your career. As much as possible, try to think further ahead.

Top questions to consider right now

  • Do you want to work in-house or overseas later in your career?
  • Is your ultimate goal to achieve partnership?
  • Would you like flexible working hours in the future?
  • Would you like to work in a non-fee earning role such as business development or a PSL role?

The track you're about to take, from your first step on the ladder, involves a lot of thinking, planning and organisation.

It’s essential you’re aware of all the opportunities available to you at this point in your career. If you rely on your firm to retain you, you’re in danger of missing the boat as many firms don’t decide until August.

How to stay ahead of the game


Form a good relationship with a legal recruiter. Register at least six months prior to qualification. You’ll be advised of NQ solicitor jobs as soon as they arise.

Skill direction

Ensure you’re choosing disciplines based on the work you’ve done and the skills you have. Don’t choose the practice area you had the most fun in. Think about where you want to be in 5 years’ time.

Having more than one choice of discipline will enable you to take advantage of more opportunities.

CV prep

Prepare your CV. Be concise with structure and use bullet points. Sell yourself, your skills and your knowledge.

NQ interviews

Interviews will usually last around one hour, mostly more than one stage and often with more than one interviewer. Things to remember:

  • Treat the interview as a two-way process and have relevant questions prepared.
  • Be yourself and enjoy the meeting!
  • Note down the telephone number of your recruiter, make sure you speak beforehand to ensure you’re fully prepared.
  • Be nice to the reception staff! Kindness goes a long way!
  • Aim to make a great first impression; look your best, dress smartly, give a firm handshake and always maintain eye contact.

Give yourself options

Think broadly: do you need to be flexible on location to secure the job you want?

Perhaps the legal profession isn’t what you thought. There are always other options, which will still allow you to utilise your legal knowledge (legal recruitment for one!).

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