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The transition from trainee solicitor to NQ

by Sellick Partnership | 3 May 2016

I have recently interviewed a newly qualified solicitor to understand the challenges trainees face once qualified. The conversation we had was extremely interesting and I wanted to share it to the rest of the trainee solicitors who are due to qualify who may find the information helpful in deciding on their next career move.  

What has been the biggest change transitioning to a NQ?
The biggest change has been the level of responsibility I have as a newly qualified solicitor. You are now exposed to handling high value, more complex matters rather than assisting senior members of staff. This can be somewhat daunting at first, but the challenge has been the most exciting part for me. Acting as a qualified solicitor you have more client contact, and I have been fortunate enough to have been involved in business development activities for the department. It has made me feel that I am an integral part of the team.

Did you feel different?
I felt a sense of achievement. The years in which I had spent training to become a solicitor have now come to fruition and it feels that it is the start of something new. When you qualify you feel more established and instantly I felt that the expectations placed upon you shifted slightly. It was comforting to qualify into a department in which I had just completed my third seat of my training contract. The team have been extremely supportive and have quickly settled into my role as a qualified solicitor.

What is the best advice you would give future trainees?
Do not be afraid to have a voice. Ask as many questions as possible at this stage of your career, and become a sponge. The added responsibility which you can take on as a trainee really helps in the transition to becoming as qualified solicitor. It is important to gain as much exposure as you can to different areas of law. This will help you identify where you want your career to go in – what area of law do you enjoy the most? What areas do you want to improve on?

If you are due to qualify and wish to discuss newly qualified solicitor opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact Elizabeth Farry on elizabeth.farry@sellickpartnership.co.uk or 0113 243 9775. Alternatively, view our latest legal roles within private practice and the public sector.