The Qualification Season 2017: An early July update

July 6, 2017

The Qualification Season has been in full swing for some months now, so we thought it would be worth providing an update as to how things have been going.

A lot of firms got their act together quickly this year and started their internal processes early, securing their own trainee solicitors in March to May – not just the big national firms, most of the smaller and mid-tier firms signed up their trainees before trainees started thinking about exploring the market.

Some law firms moved quickly in looking externally, with Eversheds being the main beneficiary of snapping up talented NQs from (and ahead of) its competition.  The regional mid-tier and smaller national firms also benefited by acting quickly.  Those larger firms who decided to wait or hoped applicants would come to them without being proactive and engaging with the market have not been quick enough and have not been so successful…

With the vast majority of trainee solicitors accepting roles at their own firms or securing roles at those firms who engaged the market early, those firms now on the lookout in certain areas are going to be bitterly disappointed…

The market essentially played out as many of us had predicted earlier in the year.  Areas of heightened activity included real estate, banking and real estate finance, construction and commercial.  There have been less high quality opportunities in the likes of employment, commercial litigation and the private client disciplines.

Congratulations to those trainees who have secured their dream NQ roles already.  For those who haven’t, we are still working hard to find you the perfect roles.


If you have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact one of our dedicated consultants on 0113 2385965 or 0161 3000750.

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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