A Career Away from Law

Moving away from the legal profession is a very big decision for a lot of lawyers, and one not to be taken lightly. It is something that comes up time and time again during our private career coaching sessions with clients, usually when lawyers get to about 3-6 years PQE or more.
 
If you are considering your options, think about the following:
 
1. Is it your job or your profession that is making you consider your options? Decide very carefully indeed…
2. Have you had thoughts about something you would like to do? If not, think. It is no good leaving the legal profession without any thought as to what you can do instead.
3. Have you got your financial commitments covered for a period of time?
4. Have you been to get experience in the profession you are thinking about going into?
5. Have you sat down and thought through all the factors affecting your decision making?
 
More to Law is a good starting website, together with Alec for free careers tests online. Our career coaching service is available at www.ten-percent.co.uk/career.htm

Duty Solicitors – the mad rush

In the last 3 weeks we have seen an unprecedented number of duty solicitor vacancies posted by firms looking to get their CDS 12 submissions into the LSC and desperate to recruit a duty solicitor to enable them to do this. Lots of smaller start up firms as well as older established ones, together with firms where duty solicitors have given notice of their impending departure.
 
This has proved an impossible task for a number of firms. A large majority of duty solicitors have elected to stay put and not move, whilst others have opted to go freelance and put their slots with one firm. Most appear to have got themselves sorted out very early on, and although we were able to assist 2 firms with placements that occurred on the deadline date, we could not help a larger number at such short notice.
 
These are our tips for avoiding this next time (ie in 6 months time).
 
1. Plan ahead. At least one of our clients recruited a duty solicitor provisionally back in February, knowing that they needed someone for July. This was a new entrant firm.  
2. Do not call round recruitment agencies 2 weeks beforehand, and if you have to, do not call more than 2 or 3. A few times we found some of our candidates who were actively looking were put off firms whom they thought were desperate because they had been contacted about their vacancy at least 5 times.
3. If you are within 2 weeks of the deadline, do not under any circumstances play hardball with candidates. It does not work – most candidates this time round got about 3-5 firms following them at any one time.
4. Do not make very low offers and expect to negotiate upwards. This happened with a couple of firms this time and the firms got nowhere.
5. If all else fails, consider freelancers with slots to offer. Be prepared to pay well, but bear in mind if you plan ahead next time you may be able to get someone on a permanent basis (or persuade the freelancer to stay longer term).
 
Please email us details of any vacancies to cv@ten-percent.co.uk or register the vacancy online by clicking this link – http://www.ten-percent.co.uk/registerer.htm

Legal Job Market Report – 10th May 2010 from Ten-Percent Legal

The election result will inevitably have an effect on the mood of recruiters – most of the time as an industry we are very susceptible to world incidents 9/11, 7/7, the Gulf Wars etc.. – as law firms and in house departments tend to have other things to think about..
 
April 2010 has been a very good month, mainly thanks to the Legal Services Commission and the CDS 12 deadlines we have just been through. There is a shortage of solicitors now for a range of specialist roles – family panel members, children law solicitors, duty solicitors and higher court advocates – and we are getting law firms, charities and NGOs all requesting children panel members in particular (domestic violence module holders appear to be in great demand).
 
In April we had 42 vacancies posted for a whole range of different areas including Conveyancing, Commercial Property, Wills & Probate, Crime (lots), Family (lots), Industrial Disease, Personal Injury, Welfare Benefits, Employment, In House, Corporate Finance, Offshore, Child Care and Civil Litigation.
 
Commercial is still running fairly slowly, once you take out the larger firms generic lists, and most firms seem to be avoiding too much recruitment, but the high street is busy, and will remain so, particularly with the locum season almost upon us.
 
The market has definitely turned, vacancies are materialising and candidates are starting to be tied up again when we send out updates.
 
If you are thinking of recruiting and hoping to get a bargain due to the number of redundant solicitors still looking, this is now getting considerably harder as desirable candidates are working again, and the market left is getting increasingly B List rather than A List. A number of firms have found this and have had to revise offers upwards to attract candidates into their departments.
 
The new tax year has kick started the next round of recruitment, and we expect to be very busy now for the next 8 weeks until July 2010 when everything will slow down again.
 
Recent vacancies in – Commercial Property Solicitor – Cheshire, Crime Solicitor – St Albans, Children Panel Member – Middlesex, Employment – Wiltshire, Welfare Benefits & Debt – West Midlands, Family – Plymouth, Insolvency Lawyer – London, Personal Injury – Stockport.

The ‘World’s Hardest to Fill Locum Assignment’ Winner

From time to time as recruiters, we get vacancies in that have us “biting at the bit” and almost hanging up on the telephone so that we can start work identifying the perfect candidate for our client. These tend to be positions where we know immediately that we have someone ideally suited. We took a call this week from a firm that went as follows:
 
Caller “We are looking for a locum lawyer to cover holiday leave.”
Ten-Percent “OK – what are the dates?”
 
Caller “We dont know – we will let the locum know the day before we need them.”
Ten-Percent “Hmm – thats going to be difficult”.
 
Caller “It will be for 3 weeks, but we want them to come in for a morning beforehand to see how we work free of charge”.
Ten-Percent “Hmm – not sure we will get anyone for you to do that..”
 
Caller “We want a conveyancing solicitor with 3 years minimum experience, who is able to also do family law, immigration law and a bit of civil litigation.”
Ten-Percent “Not really sure we can assist”.
 
Caller “We want someone under 50 but over 35 years old.”
Caller “And they have to be a woman”.
Caller “We only want them for 3 days a week.”
Caller “But they will need to be available to take calls the other 2 days.”
Caller “We can offer £15 per hour and want to negotiate your fee.”
Caller “Can you let us know in the next 2 hours at the latest who you have available and we can draw up a shortlist to interview.” 
 
Needless to say, we politely declined to assist, recommended that the firm contact one of our rivals, but made a note of the above conversation to post in our next newsletter!

For further details of the various Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment services including locum and permanent positions for solicitors and lawyers, please visit www.ten-percent.co.uk

Legal Job Market Report April 6th 2010

(this report can also be found at www.ten-percent.co.uk/weeklyreport.htm)

March 2010 has been a very good month and we are now not only optimistic of the market picking up, but also are aware that legal recruitment is back up and running at high speed. We have watched as vacancies are suddenly grinding to a halt in some areas, particularly for duty solicitors and family panel members, as there is a lack of fresh talent coming onto the market. In March we had 37 vacancies posted for a whole range of different areas including Conveyancing, Commercial Property, Wills & Probate, Crime (lots), Family (lots), Industrial Disease, Personal Injury, Agricultural Property, Housing, Child Care and Civil Litigation.
 
Commercial still seems to be running at a fairly slow speed. We could go down the route of other agencies and post the generic mailing lists with commercial posts in that some of the bigger firms send out to 100 recruiters and hope for the best, but generally we try to avoid these as inevitably they result in no quality responses from our candidates.
 
The market has turned, although there is still no sign of a major pick up in non-contentious work despite vacancies starting to materialise. The conveyancing and wills posts we have picked up have been for replacement partners or long term cover and tend to be from old clients who trust our skill & experience in assisting them rather than from new start ups or clients.
 
The new tax year will almost inevitably kick start the next round of recruitment, and we expect to be very busy now for the next 12 weeks until July 2010 when everything will slow down again.
 
The new Ten-Percent Unlimited Service has taken off in the last 4 weeks, and we are already assisting firms with expansion plans at very low cost to use our Candidate Database and recruit directly without agency involvement.
 
Recent vacancies in – Duty Solicitor – Preston, Personal Injury Solicitor – Bradford, Family Solicitor – Twickenham, Crime Duty Solicitor/Caseworkers – West London (Ten-Percent Unlimited), Civil Litigation – Plymouth, Senior Conveyancing Solicitor – North London, PSL – Bristol, Business Development Manager (Conveyancing) – London, Agricultural Property – Southampton.  www.ten-percent.co.uk for further information on any of these legal jobs.

Recruiting a Business Development Manager – a good idea?

If you have looked at the Law Society Gazette in recent times you will have noticed that a) it has shrunk dramatically, although the jobs section has started to expand rapidly in the last few weeks, and b) the editor appears to be concentrating on marketing and business development rather than legal practice.

 
Why recruit a Business Development Manager (BDM)?
 
1. If you have asked solicitors the question in the article above during an interview, you are probably already considering one without realising it.
2. The BDM spends his/her whole time on generating work, new ideas for business streams, marketing and sales.
3. Your lawyers spend their time doing legal work.
4. BDM’s get paid on performance (you would be mad to employ one who was not). Lawyers do not tend to like this type of arrangement.
 
Business development manager is also known as a business planner. A BDM will devote his/her attention to business development and exploiting the business opportunities that are presented. 
The business development manager must have considerable sales experience, be an organized and strong negotiator, and be aware of and responsive to economic trends, government policies and currency fluctuations.

The business development manager works to expand a company’s product reach and profit revenues. They do this by identifying new markets and attracting new clients. The business development manager therefore researches new business opportunities, identifies likely sales points, develops strategic plans and sales strategies, and undertakes presentations to and negotiations with prospective customers.

Responsibility of a Business Development Manager

  • Investigate the economic conditions surrounding your business activity such as industry trends and competition.
  • Conduct extensive market research and continue gathering information throughout the life of the business.
  • Prepare a detailed business and marketing plan so you will not lose sight of your goals and objectives.
  • Secure sufficient financial resources for future development or expansion.
  • Network with other business people; establish a support group, attend BNI and similar meetings, and build up trade.
  • Attend workshops, trade shows, and seminars to keep up-to-date on changes in the industry.
  • Adopt a team approach; work with others in pursuing common goals.
  • Understand the skills and qualities you bring to your business.
  • Develop a situation analysis of your company including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to assist in the development of a strategic plan for the future of the business.
One of the best ways to recruit a BDM is to find one who has been successful before in another industry, offer them a reasonable basic salary, with a percentage bonus based on work generated and give them 12 months.
 
A good BDM will easily pay back their salary and generate a good profit. You will spot a poor BDM very quickly, as they will spend too much time doing administrative work and not enough time creating sales, marketing and looking at new opportunities.
 
If you would like to recruit a business development manager, Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment can assist. Register your Vacancy Online. Please note that we do not assist with commission only posts for BDMs – we do not have any candidates prepared to work on this basis.