Angharad Warren
Angharad Warren
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

When should I start applying for a newly qualified (NQ) solicitor job?

You’ve given two years of your life to your training firm, relentlessly portrayed the best version of yourself, put in the effort and the hours (and sometimes tears), yet there’s no guarantee of a job at the end of it. It seems so unfair, but no matter how much you impress during your training contract, the reality is, budget and business-case dictate the teams that are able to take on NQs. As a result, firms have to let good trainees go.

So, if you’re approaching qualification and don't know whether there’ll be a suitable job for you at the end of it, or if you want to take advantage of this pivotal point in your career and move to a bigger firm, or a firm with a better offering or better reputation, then what should you do?

Don't delay

At this stage, many firms have already completed their internal NQ processes. This means jobs have been released to trainees, applications have been submitted, interviews conducted and offers made: accepted or declined. These firms already know where the NQ-level gaps are so they’re already releasing vacancies to recruitment consultancies. Some firms usually conclude this process early to mid-June; others might keep you hanging until August!

BCL Legal has already filled many of this year’s NQ jobs, so if you’re uncertain of your position, call us now.

At BCL Legal, each consultant works in a specific geographic location within specific legal disciplines to ensure we’re experts in our fields. For example, my 'patch' is real estate (including construction and planning) and commercial in Birmingham city centre. Having a very specific focus means I manage fewer client relationships than my competitors, which makes my professional relationships more meaningful and useful to you in your job search. I also work with a small pool of candidates, which gives me sufficient time to provide you with a bespoke service. It also means that my knowledge of the market is highly comprehensive, which again, helps you in your job search.

How many recruitment agencies should I register with?

My advice is to steer away from registering at multiple agencies or making speculative applications. A scattergun approach does little to help your job search as duplicate applications make a bad impression on the firms you’re seeking to impress.  What's important is to make timely applications to live roles where you’re assured your application is given due consideration. This is not the time to panic into posting your CV all over the internet and calling every recruitment agency in town.  Keep calm and don't allow agencies to pressure you into making applications with little thought or strategy.  Wait for the right roles to be released so that the applications you make are fresh and untarnished by previous - mistimed - approaches.

I’ve been there

As an ex-solicitor who’s been through this process, to seven years at BCL Legal on the recruitment side of the fence, I’m ready and waiting to have a confidential discussion with you about your career, the legal market and live NQ vacancies in Birmingham.

If you’re looking across the UK as a whole or considering a number of disciplines, I can put you in touch with the right BCL Legal consultant; to ensure your job search is in the best hands and covered as comprehensively as possible for the best possible outcome.

For more information please contact Angharad Warren at BCL Legal.

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