From The Team
From The Team

Articles From the Team

Tips for NQs

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused a great level of uncertainty that has had repercussions for those at the beginning of their legal careers. This means that the 2020's Spring NQ season may be unusual and those set to qualify will be potentially suffering from unprecedented anxiety within an already stressful time.

BCL endeavours to support all junior lawyers during this challenging period, if you are suffering please do get in touch with us at

NQ season is fast approaching and within the next nerve racking weeks, junior solicitors will find out whether their ideal role will be offered to them upon qualification.

Congratulations to those who manage to secure their ideal position! However, in an extremely competitive market amidst the pandemic, you may not get your first choice. It’s important to remain positive and recognise that you have options if this does happen.

Here are a few tips for those who find themselves within this difficult situation to help you along the way…

Don’t put all your eggs into one basket!

It’s easy to have set your heart on a particular vision. You may be training at a firm which you love - you get on brilliantly with the team and enjoy the work you do, wishing to qualify into that specific discipline. Unfortunately, there may not be a position in your department of choice upon qualification. Don’t let that be your only option – cast your net as wide as you can. Perhaps even utilise the contacts you have made to get their advice.

Since your ideal opening is not guaranteed, you must always have a backup plan. Be prepared for all eventualities by brainstorming other options and creating contingency plans.

Keep an open mind

The same way you would have a backup plan in terms of discipline; it’s wise to consider other options such as location, type of firm, salary. With an open mind, you can end up achieving something amazing which you would never have thought about previously.

Look at what will benefit you in the long run

This is a crucial stage in your career and pressure is high when deciding what to qualify into. Think long and hard about how this will affect you in the future: do you want to pursue a niche area or specialise later on down the line? These options are equally reasonable and both have pros and cons. Those slightly unsure as to where they would like to end up in their career should look at more generalist areas departments to qualify into.

It’s not the end of the world

Finally, don’t worry. This can be a stressful time but it’s not the end of the world if things don’t pan out as expected! If you incorporate some of the above tips then you will be in a good position to at least securing something upon qualification (even if it’s not your first choice) rather than nothing at all.

We speak to many experienced lawyers who did not follow the expected route and have amazing stories to tell because of it (read and sign up to the brief for more).

Get ahead on the Career ladder

Search our Jobs Today!

Search Jobs