The Qualification Season 2016: An Overview

March 1, 2016

This is the first blog in this year’s series “The Qualification Season”, dealing with issues faced by trainees looking to qualify as solicitors in Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and surrounding areas in September 2016.  Hopefully, over the next few months you will find our assessment of the market and the advice we provide trainee solicitors useful and informative.

How CapeClarke will help you

It is worth noting at this stage that we work on the basis that 95% of trainee solicitors want to remain with their training firms.  There are a very small number who actively want to move, usually because they want to make the jump into a much larger firm or, indeed, because they have trained in the top tier and fancy a smaller firm environment.  We will happily assist those trainees in that position.

For the 95% we offer a contingency plan in case, for whatever reason, you cannot remain with your training firm.  As will be reiterated later, get in touch early so we can help you get into a position where you are ready to apply for external roles should you need to.

The advice produced in this guidance is of a generic nature, but we appreciate that each solicitor, each recruiting law firm and, indeed, each specific role have to be handled on an individual, subjective basis.  That is why we offer a five-step consultation process, so you feel comfortable and confident allowing us to handle this important stage of your legal career.

The Five-Step Consultation Process

Initial Consultation and Market Appraisal

  • This can either be in person with one of our consultants or by way of a telephone call (dependant on your preference), although we always recommend a face-to-face meeting.

CV Preparation

  • You will see later in this guidance some general advice regarding CV drafting and a CV template – this is only a starting point!
  • We will provide constructive advice regarding your CV or help you draft your CV from scratch.
  • Different CVs can be drafted for different roles and for different firms / recruiting Partners, and we will advise appropriately.

Search Process

  • Our consultants will search the market and highlight appropriate vacancies to you.
  • We will only highlight roles which are specific to your requirements and location(s).
  • It may sometimes be appropriate to make proactive applications before the conclusion of your internal process – in these cases, we will always advise on the best course of action and make it clear that your preference would still be to remain with your training firm (should that be the case)
  • It is important to note that your CV will NOT be sent anywhere without your consent.
  • Should you be unsuccessful in your application to a firm, we will inform you immediately of the news and obtain relevant feedback where possible.

Interview Preparation

  • This is arguably the most important part.
  • Where you have been invited to attend an interview, we will provide you with the relevant information about the firm and interviewers which you need in order to prepare fully.
  • We will guide you through the process and will meet you in person to highlight your best interview style.
  • This cannot be underestimated as the different recruiting partners will be looking for different qualities.

Offer Advice

  • Post-interview, we will provide you with honest, open feedback given by the interviewers and offer constructive advice if you have been unsuccessful.
  • In the event of an offer, we will advise you as to the different facets of that offer and how that compares to other opportunities in the legal market.
  • We will handle all communications with your future employer, guiding you through the process of accepting the offer and dealing with any negotiations.

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, Newcastle, 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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