Top Tips for Candidates – finding & getting the right legal job (Part 2)

Posted 18 Jun 2015 by Toby Williamson (Updated 26 Jun 2015)

Tip 4: Your CV is a Door Opener to the Perfect Law Job

Your CV is a door opener – make it sell you and what you can do for the business you want to join.

Don’t be afraid to use bullet points to make your CV highlights easier to find and read. Firms are most interested in:  

  • How qualified you are
  • What type of legal professional you are – Solicitor, Barrister, Legal Executive, FCILEX, Paralegal, Law Costs Draftsman or Legal Secretary
  • Where you work – a City Law firm, Legal 500 firm, high street practice
  • Size of your caseload
  • Make up of your caseload – types of work
  • Your billings and WIP
  • Business development you undertake
  • Any work following you might have
  • Reasons for wanting to find a new legal job

Tip 5: Use the right legal recruiter

Work with an agent you like and trust.

Like everything in life there are some great proactive agencies out there and there are some that are dreadful and untrustworthy or just postboxes. You need to find an agency that understands the areas of law, the market, the hierarchy of law firms and which would be most suitable to advance your legal career.

Good agencies will have the profiles of their consultants on their website so you can see who you are dealing with. Check out the testimonials pages of consultants on the agency’s website and / or on Linked IN to get a better feel for things. Your legal recruitment agency should not be pushy, arrogant or ignorant.

Only deal with people who you feel you can trust and who you think will do a good, proactive job for you. It helps agencies if you work with them exclusively or only use a couple of legal recruitment agencies – they will be more inclined to work hard for you if they are not competing with lots of other agencies trying to find you a suitable new law job.

Tip 6: Prepare for your interview

Prepare for your interview – research the firm and go armed with intelligent questions. The legal market has had so many changes recently that you should not struggle for ideas: ·        

  • Personal Injury – clearly all of the MOJ changes and what further changes may come in the future – will all claims ultimately end up being run through the Portal and how will that change the structure of personal injury departments in law firms.
  • Conveyancing – the residential conveyancing market has been influenced by online services over the last few years like SDLT returns going online – what are their (and your) thoughts about the new Veyo Law Society Portal ·         Family – with Legal Aid having been squeezed hard what ideas does the firm (and you) have by way of more creative methods of funding family law cases in the future
  • Private Client – marketing is always important in this discreet area of law – you need to have ideas that are not intrusive or offensive but are effective in bringing clients to you confident that you will be a trusted legal advisor
  • Corporate – is the firm trying to establish itself as a niche or boutique player to differentiate its legal offering and what barriers have they encountered. Does the advent of ABS style law firms give opportunities for niche corporate firms in the future to merge with say private equity firms
  • Commercial Property – how balanced is the firm’s portfolio of clients – law firms who were heavily into development work suffered much worse in the last recession than firms who did broader base work and significant portfolio management for blue chip companies.
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