by Rayhaneh Tehrani | 28 September 2016
Over the last few weeks, we have been looking closely at what steps newly qualified solicitors can take to leap onto the legal ladder and kick start their careers. My colleague, Kate Jasper recently wrote an article focusing on the advantages of hiring newly qualified candidates and given my extensive experience recruiting NQs, I thought I would contribute my advice for solicitors looking to secure their next role.
Firstly, qualifying as a solicitor is a massive accomplishment and something to be proud of after many years of study and hard work, as well as securing a training contract in an exceptionally competitive market! It is understandably an anxious time, as the big question looms;"what do I do next?”
Although you don’t typically see many opportunities advertised for NQs, there is actually a large market out there for many of the reasons Kate highlighted – newly qualified solicitors usually have wide-ranging, recent experience, and have an enthusiastic, proactive approach to work. We rarely see NQs on the market for long as our clients are quick to snap them up.
Deciding what to do upon qualification is very important; you will be making a move which will affect your career in for the long-term. That is not to say that NQs cannot ever change their area of expertise, but you need to make sure you at least take a measured approach and take up the opportunities that are best for you both personally and professionally.
There are many things to consider upon qualification such as:
- Do you want to stay in your current firm or organisation, or do you want to experience pastures new?
- What area do you want to specialise in?
- What kind of organisation do you want to work for?
Don’t forget that as an NQ you you still need a little support, so look for opportunities where you will be:
- Given training and supervision
- Allowed some degree of autonomy to develop your own style and skills
- Set realistic goals and targets for professional and personal development
Locum work is the perfect opportunity to explore if you’re interested in an area of law, and see whether this is right for you. There aren’t the pressures of the commitment of a permanent job, and it also allows a better work/life balance after some difficult training years.
If you do decide to move on from your current role, or just want some guidance on the market and job opportunities, feel free to contact your consultant at Sellick Partnership. We have over 10 years’ experience in supporting NQs through their career and we are on hand to provide any help with CVs, applications, and interview techniques. We recruit for public sector, private practice and in-house organisations, so whatever career path you want to follow, we are in a position to help guide you through the whole process.