Competition to gain a training contract or pupillage is fierce. Give yourself the best chance of securing a job at a law firm or chambers by brushing up on important skills. Coming to the end of your training contract and thinking about applying for jobs as a newly qualified lawyer? It’s definitely not easy! Check out these tips that will help give you every chance of success in your application.
Target your applications. Make sure you are going to be considered seriously. Some firms say they want a 2.1 but when you look closely what they actually want is a 2.1 on every module. The best advice to students is don’t waste your time on an application when you’re not going to meet the criteria. Be strategic: will that firm genuinely look at you? If you have mitigating circumstances, you need to explain them in the best way possible.
If you want to do employment law, don’t just apply to every firm that has an employment department. Look at the number of people who work in that team; if it’s one partner and one junior then chances are you’re not going to get a training seat there so don’t apply. That’s not pitching in a savvy way if it’s their small business area and it’s complementary to everything else they do. Look for firms that have substantial areas of activity in the area you want to practice in. Solicitors in Stockport give best advice regarding this case.
Legal recruiters cite commercial awareness as one of the most important attributes a candidate can possess. Commercial awareness means possessing knowledge of current developments in local, national and world business, particularly any issues that may impact a law firm and its clients. Law firms expect employees to market their services to prospective clients, as well as develop trusting relationships with existing ones. Ultimately, law firms are businesses, so lawyers must appreciate the commercial importance of meeting deadlines, keeping costs low and handling information confidentially.
Now we are not saying you need to go to every single partner and associate in the firm and express your unrelenting desire to work for them – far from it. Once you have a fairly firm idea of which areas most interest you and you are most likely to apply to, contact a few colleagues in those teams or if you don’t know anyone in that team, reach out and ask for an informal chat to understand the department more.
Negotiating at newly qualified level really depends on the current state of the market. If you have offers from 3 other firms, you can approach that firm with confidence and you can pitch for a salary. However, if the market is very poor, and you have no other offers and are not aware of any firms recruiting at newly qualified level in your area, you are at the mercy of your current firm, and need to be careful as to how far you push your wage demands.