Articles From the Team

Why training at a high street/smaller firm could be a bonus

Like golf clubs that don’t let in women members, some of the top tier firms used to be out of reach for a lot of people. If you hadn’t gone to the right University, got the right grades and trained at the right firm, you didn’t really stand a chance of moving into the “promised land.” But has that changed in the recent past?

We recently placed a girl from a high street firm into a top tier real estate practice so perhaps this is an example that the tide is turning slightly. We hope that firms are starting to, slowly but surely, realise the benefits of a more hands on training experience that a lot of smaller firms provide. There is less chance to hide in a smaller team and relying on PSLs and other support staffs (as may be the case in a larger firm) just isn’t an option. Being able to see a transaction through from start to finish whilst providing your own support structure as it were means that there really is a raft of untapped potential in these comparatively smaller teams. Just because someone trained at a smaller firm doesn’t mean that the process in securing the job wasn’t highly competitive (a fact that in my humble opinion is forgotten by a lot of firms when looking through CVs).

So what is our message to candidates and firms alike?

Well, aim high if you’re a candidate and aim lower if you’re a firm; might be one way to say it. Firms should be looking at candidates once maybe considered more “marginal” but with excellent experience of running their own transactions or providing key supporting roles in others. They may also have some great pre-qualification experience thrown in as a paralegal too (which when totalled up may even make them more qualified than lawyers already at your firm). Candidates should also be prepared to aim for something that they might not once have considered. They should be confident that, in a candidate tight market, there really are some great opportunities out there for them.

For more information contact Henry Bain at BCL Legal.

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