Advice for Newly Qualified Solicitors: Bansi Pattni

5 mins
Sellick  Partnership

By Sellick Partnership

We recently sat down with legal professionals to find out how they secured their newly qualified (NQ) positions and to find out how their experience was dealing with Sellick Partnership throughout the process.

What role are you in now? How did Sellick Partnership help you to secure the position?

I am employed as a Locum Childcare Solicitor with OneSource Legal Services and this is my first locum role. Sellick Partnership advised which authority and team would best suit me in-line with my job requirements. Sellick Partnership provided great insight into the team and encouraged me throughout the process. I’m really enjoying my role, it’s definitely the right place for me, it’s really wonderful.

Did you have any preconceptions about the locum market?

Yes I would say I did. I’d been told before that being a locum was just for experienced Solicitors and that it wasn’t suitable for Newly Qualified Solicitors. I wish I’d known this wasn’t the case before!

Had you considered working as a locum before?

I’d never thought it was suitable for me as a Newly Qualified Solicitor so I hadn’t really thought about it. Once I registered with Sellick Partnership and spoke with the Consultants I realised this definitely wasn’t the case and was very open to looking at locum roles.

How did Sellick Partnership assist when it came to considering pursuing a locum position?

Sellick Partnership were really knowledgeable about the councils they recruited to so were able to give tips and advice on which would suit me best. Emilia Casaus was really encouraging and supportive, helping me through the process.

What was the recruitment process like?

The process was very smooth; from registration to interviews and placement. All was handled well and I felt supported every step of the way!

During the process what worries and concerns did you have? How did Sellick Partnership help to alleviate these?

I had been worried because I had been in a permanent role with a local authority and it just hadn’t been the right fit for me, so I’d handed my notice in without a role to go to after. I was worried too that my lack of experience would be an issue as I’d been told in the past that some locum lawyers had 23 cases alongside advocacy. However, Emilia told me that in many councils it’s nothing like that and that she was confident Sellick Partnership would get me a great role and this really reassured me. The advice and insight gave me confidence.

Would you say that many NQs feel that locum roles are for more experienced solicitors? How has your perception of this changed now?

Definitely! I’d been told that being a locum wasn’t for Newly Qualified Solicitors but now I know that’s really not the case. It’s a great way to get insight into the area and team.

Having previously been in a permanent role with a local authority, how would you compare it to your current locum role?
In my current role I get great exposure to different cases and a wide-range of work. There’s more to do and I felt like part of the team straight away. I had to hit the ground running but it was great and there was always a supervisor just on the other end of the phone. I’m already on the duty rota and have attended two meetings. I’m always learning and get great exposure, for example we instruct barristers and can get experience from what they offer.

Were there any concerns around starting a Newly Qualified Solicitor role during the COVID-19 pandemic and how has this impacted your role?

The remote working has not been an issue. At the end of the day go in open minded and have faith in your abilities. You don’t need loads of experience. Your supervisor is at the other end of the phone and someone is always on hand if you need help. Asking questions is so important.

What advice would you give to trainee solicitors/NQs?

I would say be open minded and explore different options. I would recommended becoming a locum and Sellick Partnership – I’m so glad I went via them. You might think permanent is best, but I was permanent and it wasn’t the right fit, my locum role suits me so much more. Sometimes what you want isn’t what you need. I wish I’d known about locum roles for Newly Qualified Solicitors earlier!

If you have any further questions or if you would like some more advice, please contact us here. Alternatively, you can check out our latest live public sector legal jobs here.