I am Qualifying this year – can CapeClarke help?

March 13, 2013

Picture the scene: you are a second year trainee solicitor and you are feeling fairly confident you are going to be offered a NQ position at your training firm.  Is there any point registering with CapeClarke?

The answer is definitely Yes.

Nothing can be taken for granted.  We have lost count of the number of times we have heard trainee solicitors say they have been told they are going to be retained only to find out late in the day that they have not secured a role in their desired department.  By then, they have possibly missed the boat with external vacancies at other law firms.  They don’t even have an external CV and they have not sought any impartial advice about the legal market or the prospects of qualifying as a solicitor in a particular discipline.

Internal job lists will be released in law firms across Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester from the end of March and all through the Summer with some as late as September.  Don’t wait – get your ducks in line and come and meet with us for some tailored, impartial advice.

We work on the basis that 95% of trainee solicitors want to qualify at the law firm they trained with.  Whilst changing firms at NQ level does not harm your career, we can see the obvious benefits of remaining at your training law firm.  You are already quite comfortable, you have an element of goodwill and the powers that be generally have a good idea of your abilities.  For those reasons, we certainly won’t pressure you into moving firms if you have been offered a suitable role where you are.

The reality of the situation, however, is that firms of all sizes have struggled to retain all of their trainee solicitors in the past four years and it would be prudent to be in a position to act if this happens to you.

Even if you are offered a role by your current firm, drafting an external CV is not a futile exercise as it can always be used as a starting point for any future applications.  We will offer you advice on how to make the most of your CV – you can start by downloading our CV template by clicking here.  We will help you get your CV into an A1 condition so that we are ready to press the button for any role that is of interest to you.

We will meet with you to listen to what you want from your qualification as a solicitor.  You tell us about your preferences regarding type of firm, desired discipline(s), location(s) and what you hope for in terms of salary.  We will provide you with tailored advice based on these preferences and discuss various options in the market.

We will talk about any specific opportunities currently in the market or where we consider targeted proactive approaches will be beneficial, based on conversations with partners and recruiting managers.  We never advocate a blanket CV send to every firm in the market and you should never let a recruiter do this.  Targeted approaches should be well thought out and should never be a case of hoping something sticks.

Should you be invited for interview, we will provide you with comprehensive advice beforehand so that you are fully prepared for it.  We will then provide you with honest, constructive feedback afterwards and, if the news is bad, we will discuss openly about how we can improve in any future applications.

Should you be made an offer, we will talk you through what you should do next and provide you with the support to make the move in confidence.  Alternatively, if you have been made a number of offers (including from your current firm), we are here to provide you with a sounding board for any queries you have.

Both of our directors qualified as a solicitors in top-tier Leeds commercial law firms and know what the process is and exactly how you will be feeling in the run-up to qualification.  We are here to provide you with confidential, impartial and constructive advice on obtaining your ideal qualification role – even if it is with your current firm!

If you would like to discuss this blog, have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact Terry Cape or Chris Clarke on 0113 2385965.

CapeClarke is a leading niche legal recruitment consultancy operating across Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and London. Please feel free to check out our priority legal vacancies by clicking here.  Please note these legal vacancies are only a small selection of those we have been instructed on, so please get in touch if you do not see a role which looks suitable.


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