Newly Qualified

Newly Qualified

The world is your oyster

If you’re a trainee looking towards life after qualification, our consultants can get you started in a fantastic first role – in a culture in which you’ll thrive.

With a network that extends from boutique practices to international law firms, we’ve got access to the full range of newly qualified legal jobs in the UK, as well as in the US and globally.

And well beyond your placement, we’ll continue to support you with expert career advice – from CV preparation to interview tips, and up-to-the-minute market updates, immersing you in the fascinating and fast changing legal world.

Contact us or call one of our offices on the details below if you'd like to talk through any of our latest opportunities:

  • Bristol +44 (0)117 925 9962
  • Birmingham +44 (0)121 200 2444
  • London +44 (0)203 096 4540
  • Manchester +44 (0)161 828 5410
  • Reading +44 (0)118 322 4631

Trainee Solicitors: What you need to be thinking about right now

For most people in the UK the summer period is something to look forward to.  Some much needed warm weather, a holiday away, the World Cup, music festivals, the list goes on….

However, for Trainee Solicitors coming into the last few months before qualification it can be a time of great anxiety about their future.  Below is a brief guide on the main things all Trainees need to consider as they approach this crucial qualification time.

1. Should I stay or should I go?

A key issue to reflect upon is do you want to stay at your current firm?  Some Trainee’s will already know that they want to stay or leave, but if you are unsure there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Is your current firm likely to offer you a job on qualification in an area you want to specialise in?  It is essential you think about what legal discipline you want to practise in. What you qualify into will often dictate your specialism for the rest of your career. Opportunities to re-train/move legal discipline after qualification aren’t that easy to come by.
  • What is career progression like in your current firm?  You should be able to have some measure of this from the time you’ve spent in the firm and be able to decide if it matches your personal timetable for advancement.
  • Loyalty – don’t miss an opportunity because of loyalty to your training firm. Yes you may be grateful that they offered you that first step in your career but it’s important to make an objective decision.
  • When will your current firm decide on their own September NQ roles?  Timescales vary at each law firm and if you wait to hear what happens at your own firm, you may miss out on other external opportunities.

2. Important things to consider

If you’ve decided you are going to look at external options, then it’s important to have considered a number of parameters that will determine what options you can look at.

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Q&As from recently Qualified Solicitors: an insight into their experience of training and qualification

September is an interesting time of year for junior lawyers. Paralegals and LPC graduates are starting their training contracts and Trainee Solicitors are coming up to the quarter, half way or qualification stage of theirs.

It is understandable that individuals have a number of questions about how their career will progress during the training contract process. Questions frequently include “what seats do I want to undertake?”, “will I stay with my current firm?”, “what do I want to qualify into?”, “what else is out there?”, “what changes when I qualify?”. These are of course just a few of the most common queries that crop up.

Here at Chadwick Nott, we speak to a large number of lawyers during their training contract and post-qualification. We thought it would be really useful to hear from ‘the horse’s mouth’ what the process is like and what changes upon qualification.

We asked four solicitors who had qualified in law firms with quite different profiles to give us their personal insights – for this exercise, let’s call them Carol, Sarah, Richard and Anna!

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Newly Qualified Solicitors: find your perfect job

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
You may have already been offered an NQ position at your training firm, but it is worth exploring all options. It is important to speak to multiple people—whether that’s other trainees at networking events, past colleagues, or even recruiters—to find out as much as you can about other firms.  Conversations may lead to you discovering a firm which may offer a better suited opportunity for your career needs. Loyalty is a great thing and commendable in any lawyer, but it is important to ensure you are considering your long term future prospects.

Challenge preconceptions
A role may suit you ‘on paper’, but workplace compatibility does not always follow this rule. The only way to determine whether a firm is a fit for you is to go along and meet as many people there as possible. It is no bad thing to have a number of different options, including the less obvious choices you may instinctively discount. You never know, you may find a firm where you have an even stronger connection.

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