Are you a newly qualified solicitor? If you have completed your traineeship and are now about to start your qualified role, you may be in need of some additional guidance.
After a lengthy number of years studying and finishing your legal training, you could of course be forgiven for thinking that this might be the light at then end of the tunnel and the goal that you have been working toward? At Thomson Legal, after helping so many lawyers at the start of their legal careers, we are here to assist you at the start of your successful legal career.
Newly Qualified Solicitor – Thomson Legal Advice
No Longer the Trainee
For some NQ’s, you will be continuing on with your training firm and will have the comfort of being in familiar surroundings. However, the main challenge you will now face will be stepping up to the plate and proving that you are no longer ‘the trainee’.
For others, it is likely to be a new adventure, working with new colleagues in different teams or even a different firm/ company.
So what do I need to be thinking about now career-wise as an NQ?
Make the Change Early On
At this stage in your career, many newly qualified solicitors will have had to make some compromises. More often than not this will focus on the discipline or department you find yourself in on qualification. If you cannot see yourself staying in that particular area of law long-term then it is advisable to look to see what steps you can take to move departments or to change direction.
While this can be a difficult task at all stages, it is most certainly less disruptive to attempt this earlier in your career. For some, this can quite simply be achieved with an internal move but for others, this will require going to the market to achieve success. Without question a change in discipline present difficulties, but it is achievable with enough solid and concise forward-planning.
Think of Long-Term Prospects
On qualification, it is also a good time to look at the long-term career prospects of your current role. As a trainee, you may have greatly enjoyed working in a contentious department, for example, however, you will find further down the line, this type of experience will be less in demand should you be looking to move in-house or to London or Overseas.
Equally so, with the geographical specifications of commercial property, for example, you may find plentiful options in your local market but the downside will again be that it will limit your options should you seek a different path later in your career. NQ’s should recognise that transactional experience in areas such as banking, corporate and commercial will more likely assist you should you wish to go in-house or move to London or Overseas.
So, congratulations on becoming a newly qualified solicitor – now start thinking about your long-term career aspirations and how to achieve them.
At Thomson Legal, many of our relationships with candidates start at this very point. Our role is to advise and help identify opportunities in the short, medium and long-term for our candidates. We work closely with leading law firms and in-house companies in Scotland, Ireland, London and Overseas and can give you honest and constructive advice on the next steps in your career. Additionally, we provide accurate, ‘real-time’ market information and are also on hand to assist you with advice on your CV, interviews and career progression.