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Mythbusters – the answers to commonly asked questions from newly qualified legal professionals


“I should remain with my current firm.  If I move it will look as if I haven’t been offered a position.”

Moving firms upon qualification should not be perceived as a lack of commitment or a signal of underperformance. There is an abundance of reasons for newly qualified solicitors and legal professionals wanting to move from the firm at which they have trained. Future employers are always interested to hear your rationality for moving which your consultant will discuss with you. It is important that you consider your own reasons for leaving the firm whether you may be looking to relocate, move to a different area of expertise or a different size of department.
Remaining with your current firm will be an attractive option; you know the people, you know the systems and how things work and you’ve settled in.  However, it is unwise to settle for a position that does not match your long term aims.  As such, considering all of your options is very important.  Speak to your recruitment consultant when it comes to making a decision and they will advise you on what is going to be the best move for your career.

“I should speak to a recruitment consultant if I find out I am not being retained by my current firm.”

We would recommend that you speak to a recruitment consultant when you commence the final seat of your training contract.  Leaving it until when you find out if you are being retained by your current firm will mean you will miss out on a number of opportunities.  You may hope to be retained by your current firm.  However, you are in a perfect position to see what else is out there and if there is a better opportunity.  You may only have ever worked for one firm so it is a good time to see what it is like elsewhere.  This can also help you define your goals and ascertain what you are really looking for.

“My CV should be no more than 2 sides.”

This is a myth.  If you have more than 2 sides of relevant legal experience then it is important you do include this on your CV.

“If I choose to specialise in a particular area I won’t be able to change disciplines at a later stage.”

This depends on many factors such as how qualified you are when you wish to change disciplines, and what discipline you are hoping to move into.  However, it is not impossible.  Speak to Michael Page Legal to find out more.

“If I choose to go abroad at this stage I will find it difficult to return.”

This is a myth. Leaving for another jurisdiction will not exclude you from re-joining the market.

“I am at a disadvantage having qualified as a barrister.”

This is not the case.  The majority of firms are keen to receive applications from anyone with legal experience, whether they have trained as a barrister or solicitor. Barristers are required by The Law Society to sit the QLTT to qualify as solicitors in England and Wales.  Many firms provide funding for you to attend the course and sit the exam.  Speak to Michael Page Legal to find out more.

“Recruitment consultants will send my CV to any law firm without confirming this with me.”

We at Michael Page Legal pride ourselves on contacting all our candidates before sending your CV anywhere.  Your CV will NEVER be sent anywhere without your consent.

More information

Get a copy of the Newly Qualified Survival Guide
*Michael Page International is an equal opportunities organisation. We welcome applications from all candidates with the relevant skills and experience and do not restrict the recruitment services to any particular group.