How to find newly qualified solicitor jobs
When an individual has completed a training contract they will be entered onto the roll of solicitors. They can then apply for a practising certificate and join The Law Society as a fully fledged member. This is paid for either by the individual or the law firm.
Many newly qualified solicitors choose to stay on with the firm at which they trained because they know the staff and are familiar with the practice. However, not all firms can keep all their trainees on, particularly in periods of economic uncertainty.
Some newly qualified solicitors instead move to other firms after qualifying, because of need, the prospect of higher salaries, practice specialism or geography.
Whatever happens, the individual should ensure that they get a final decision from the firm in plenty of time, so they can think about their options and give themselves an opportunity to search for another job if necessary.
So where do you look for legal vacancies? Reading the job sections of the legal press, both in print and online, will help newly qualified solicitors understand where vacancies are likely to arise. The Lawyer and Law Gazette are good starting points. Signing up to online recruitment sites like Simply Law Jobs can really help newly qualified solicitors land desirable jobs. It’s important that you work hard on your CV prior to uploading it to specialist online job sites. Remember to sign up for email alerts, or make use of mobile apps, to ensure you don’t miss the latest jobs as they arise.
It’s best to register with several recruitment agencies so as to get a better feel for the job market and to get plenty of feedback about how you are approaching the job search. Law recruitment experts advise dealing with these recruitment consultants very professionally on the phone and in person, as they are an essential part of the filtering system for newly qualified jobs, working closely with client firms.
Factors that will help secure newly qualified solicitor jobs
Try and gain work experience while you are still at university. If you successfully set up work experience placements through the summer holidays it will impress potential employers, and give you plenty to talk about in an interview. It will show them you are dedicated and truly interested in being a solicitor.
Make sure that you work hard throughout your training contract as a good reference from the firm who took you on is extremely valuable.
Consider doing some pro bono work. If you’re still studying, your university is likely to offer you some pro bono opportunities within the local community and will be able to offer supervision. Read our pro bono guide to find out more about opportunities and projects to get involved with.
Prepare your CV and cover letter and make them concise and well presented. You should be on the ball and really to sell your skills and positive traits in any interviews you might be invited to.
A recent survey of graduate employers showed that nearly half felt that their graduates lacked commercial awareness. This is an opportunity for you to stand out from all the other applicants. Read our guide to commercial awareness to find out more about developing and showcasing your understanding of the business world.
The importance of personal presentation
Throughout the application process for newly qualified solicitor jobs, a great deal of care and attention should be taken to ensure that you present yourself well. This starts with CVs and covering letters and applies right the way through to how you look and behave in the interview stages. Preparation is essential of course. Spend time researching each firm you apply to, and make sure you have plenty of relevant subject matter for the interview.
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