Legal Jobs Newsletter August 2nd

Legal Recruitment Newsletter August 2nd – Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

* Legal Job Market Report
* Vacancy Update 1st August
* Shocking Working Conditions in a Law Firm
* Skills Sections on a CV
* Career Coaching in London or Chester
* CV Writing, Review and Interview Training
* More Legal Career Articles

Legal Job Market Report August 1st
Late June and early July have been pretty slow months generally, although this is not unexpected. We have had Wimbledon, Euro 2012 and the build up to the Olympics taking place, all of which result in very little thought being given to the exciting topic of legal recruitment and taking on new staff!

It is now exactly 12 months since we launched our £3,600 for 5 years unlimited recruitment service and we have seen a very enthusiastic take up. Clients who have used us for many years probably account for about 25% of our current membership but plenty of new clients have joined. We hope to reach 100 member firms very shortly. Cost savings to our 60+ firms are already estimated to be around £225,000. Over 60% of members undertake LSC funded work in some capacity and 33% have less than 2 partners. The service is restricted to firms with less than 100 staff.

In July 2012 we had 69 new candidates register with us, which is the lowest amount of new registrations since 2008. Good news? Possibly. It may have something to do with the slow down in recruitment this month and also in the number of redundancies currently being seen.

Again we have expanded further on the locum side and now have over 750 locums registered with us. We have seen a large increase this month in the use of contractors (aka locums) by law firms, which appears to be the new trend.

Register Vacancies – Locum or Permanent
£60 Per Month Recruitment Scheme

Vacancy Update 1st August

14639 Cardiff Resolution Accredited solicitor with domestic violence specialism or a Family – Law Society panel member with domestic violence specialism sought by Cardiff firm. Permanent or locum candidates considered.

14638 Plymouth Legal Cashier sought on temporary basis for minimum of 1 month.

14637 West London Family Child Care Solicitor sought by West London firm of medium size. Looking for either an experienced child care paralegal or NQ solicitor level. Essential to have care experience. Mainly representing adults.

14636 Twickenham 4 SOLICITORS of 4 years PQE or more required on a permanent, part time, or fee split arrangement/consultant basis. Candidates must have the ability to practice at least two of the following: civil/commercial litigation, personal injury/clinical negligence, employment, wills probate and trust, family/children/matrimonial, and crime.

14635 Twickenham PURCHASE/MERGER: A Firm of solicitors located anywhere in England and Wales with an LSC franchise in at least one area of practice or has submitted a PQQ for an LSC contract in the current exercise is wanted urgently for immediate purchase or merger. No size is too small, all locations are suitable.

14634 Bournemouth Wills & Probate Solicitor sought by medium sized Poole practice. Seeking an experienced practitioner to join either on a full or part time basis.

14633 Milton Keynes Conveyancing Solicitor sought by Bedford firm – looking at a salary range suitable for a 0-2 year PQE solicitor. Will also consider a legal executive or fee earner.

14632 Dudley Employment Solicitor sought by commercial practice based in Dudley. Legal 500 firm of smaller size. Well known for work in a range of industries. Mainly respondent work.Salary levels negotiable. 2-4 year PQE level on salary but all applicants considered.

14631 Dudley Commercial Property Solicitor sought by commercial practice based in Dudley. Legal 500 firm of smaller size. Well known for work in a range of industries. Salary levels negotiable. NQ-2 years PQE level.

14630 Dudley Corporate Solicitor sought by commercial practice based in Dudley. Legal 500 firm of smaller size. Well known for corporate transactional work in a range of industries. Salary levels negotiable.

14629 Llandudno Commercial Contracts Solicitor or Lawyer sought by Rhyl firm of medium size – looking for someone with expeience of renewable energy – they are about to enter into an agreement to supply legal services to a national company with a lot of work in this field. Contracts and leases likely to be the main parts of this work.

14628 Hemel Hempstead Child care solicitor sought by High Wycombe firm – looking for someone with an interest in child care work – panel membership not essential. LSC funded work and well regarded practice.

14627 Leicester A leading and reputable Leicester City practice, seeks recently qualified solicitor with Crime experience to assist in supporting and developing an existing sound client base. Good prospects for right candidates in this progressive Firm. Salaried role. Police station accreditation is preferred.

14626 Harrow Family Solicitor with 2 years PQE and upwards sought by firm based in Harrow. The firm have specialisms linked to the health care sector. The family solicitor will be undertaking privately funded family law work and building up the caseload.

14625 Swindon Swindon firm looking for a family solicitor, legal executive or fee earner with some experience of legal aid work. NQ level and upwards. Full time post. Experience of care work desirable.

14624 Leeds Mental Health Solicitor sought by Leeds firm of medium size with Legal 500 status. Salaried role running a department in one of the firm’s Leeds offices.

14623 East-Central London New post in from medium sized London firm – looking for a family law department administrator. Based at the north London office – 6 month contract starting August. Will need to have family law department admin experience. Salary levels £16k.

14622 Leicester Solicitors firm based in Loughborough, Leicestershire seek a conveyancing lawyer for mainly residential conveyancing work. Some commercial experience would be an advantage but not essential. This is a full time position with an existing workload. The firm are willing to look at any level of experience.

14621 Dartford “South East London and Kent firm (LLP with one main office and two satellites) has two opportunities to offer the person with the right qualifications and ambition. The first opportunity on offer is at a branch which is in a secondary shopping area premises with good footfall. There is cross pollination of work but not necessarily of transfer between offices. The second opportunity is at one of the satellite offices where the Senior Partner is currently based. The candidates the firm are looking for must be hardworking and motivated to build their own business yet dedicated to meeting the needs of the client. The work attracted by the firm is a variety of non contentious work including, domestic conveyancing, commercial conveyancing (shops, warehouse units, office and the like for small businesses) some commercial work involving partnerships agreements and shareholder agreements, possibly wills and probate, although the work type undertaken is open to negotiation.
Although open to discussion the firm are looking for candidates who will be willing to work on a salary to start and once work has built up move onto a commission based basis and who will be prepared after an initial trial period to become a partner in the practice and build their own profit centre. The senior partner of the firm is wishing to slow down and become a Consultant but will remain active in attracting in work. Although there is a reasonable volume of work readily available we do want someone who is willing to try and attract more and willing to share in networking requirements.”

14620 Dartford Children Panel member sought by Dartford firm. Looking for a family solicitor to deal with an expanding children law caseload. LSC funded work.

14617 Redhill West Sussex firm are looking for a legal assistant/paralegal with around 1 to 2 years experience in defendent civil litigation to deal with primarily insurer work. The ideal candidate will be familiar with defendent procedures to fast track level, although some training is available for candidates with pre-litigation experience. Salary level 24k to 28K plus bonus depending on experience.

14615 Hereford A new vacancy has arisen with a firm based in Ross on Wye, Herefordshire. The firm are looking for an extra pair of hands to assist for at least 3 months, more likely to be 6 months, possibly longer. May become a permanent role. Light commercial property work. Hourly rate will reflect fact that this is going to be a vacancy suitable for NQ-2 years PQE.

14614 Enfield A new vacancy has arisen with a firm in Enfield. Medium sized practice. Permanent. Looking for a solicitor, ILEX or licensed conveyancer for residential conveyancing work. 3 years of conveyancing experience required. Full time role. Salary £30,000 plus bonus scheme paying an additional £12k on last years figures.

14613 Leicester A new vacancy has arisen with a firm based in Melton Mowbray. They are looking to recruit a Private Client solicitor to deal with wills, estates administration and elderly client work including Powers of Attorney. There will also be a small amount of trusts administration work.Ideally they would be looking for a candidate with around 2 years’ post-admission experience.

14612 Peterborough Medium sized Lincolnshire firm looking to recruit an experienced Costs Draftman to deal with their costs. The post will include preparing schedules of costs, bills of costs, negotiating with third parties, attending Court (advocacy). The candidate must be experienced and have at least 5 years experience dealing with costs. Costs will predominantly be PI based (Personal Injury and Industrial Disease). Salary levels negotiable.

14608 Liverpool Liverpool based law firm specialising in service charge and ground rent debt recovery are looking for a litigation solicitor ASAP to assist with an increased work load. Ideal candidate will be at least 3 yrs PQE.

14607 Birmingham Crime Solicitor sought with practising certificate, ideally with VHCC experience for scheduling work in a major crime case. £8 per hour, working from home. You must be a qualified solicitor and be prepared to work from home. The firm need you to be familiar with Excel. The post is for a Grade B fee earner so if you are classed as this in accordance with the VHCC guidelines you can also apply. 10 years crime experience, FILEX, Solicitor or Barrister. Locum post on consultancy basis on hourly rate.

Any interest, please email us with the reference number and a copy of your CV attached. Salary levels always useful as well.

Shocking Working Conditions in a Law Firm
We recently spoke to a solicitor who was dealing with unbearable conditions at work, but with a familiar story to us.

This particular candidate works in a law firm where they have:

1) No staff perks at all.
2) No days out, meals out or any staff events.
3) No staff induction when you join the firm, no pay rises and no annual appraisals.
4) No words of encouragement at any time from any other member of staff during this person’s time at the firm (well over 5 years).
5) No social events at all amongst any staff whether organised by the firm or by the staff.
6) A process whereby if someone requests annual leave, one of the partners formally speaks to the employee to determine whether they are going for a job interview.
7) If a complaint about a manager’s behaviour is made then the person who has made the complaint is usually dismissed within 3 weeks.
8) A reasonable salary is paid in line with other firms, but the firm expects a level of billable hours that is next to impossible without working a 60 hour week.
9) An expectation that each employee will work for at least 10 hours per day and not leave the office before 7pm each evening. Work has to be taken home each weekend.
10) Work reviewed by email and only negative points highlighted.

This is not a smaller sized high street practice and neither is it an LSC funded firm – ie they don’t do legal aid work – which I think gives some firms an excuse of sorts for this type of behaviour when hourly rates can be £45 per hour and stress levels permanently high!

Some firms seem to have got very big very quickly on the back of tenders etc.. but have absolutely no idea how to treat their staff. The partners themselves under immense pressure because of the level of tender they have pitched at and in order to achieve the levels required under the tender they have to work both themselves and their staff to the bone.

This almost inevitably results in totally unacceptable working practices. Why law firms think they can get away with this I have no idea, but I see it so many times. The behaviour being exhibited by the partner in charge of the person I coached recently is nothing short of bullying (constant criticism, telephone calls at weekends to check on work, shouting at employees etc..), and if a client had gone to see that partner complaining of behaviour like this then no doubt he would be advising them to take a tribunal case against their employers.

Of course there are plenty of extremely good law firms who treat their employees with respect and dignity and have a good relationship with the local community.

If you exhibit signs of behaviour similar to the above and are reading this, please stop and think. Not only do you make your employees’ lives a misery, in the long term it also makes your life pretty awful as well. Think about the benefit you will get out of being nice to your staff. Friendly smiles all round, harder working staff, committed and loyal employees….

Jonathan Fagan – MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Skills Sections on CVs – Waffle?

One thing that crops up a lot in recruitment is the addition of subjective Skills Sections on CVs.

These are the bane of every recruiter’s working life (whether HR people in firms/companies or recruitment agents) – even solicitors with 10 years PQE still write them down.

An example would be:

“good interpersonal skills, able to communicate effectively and use transferable skills in a way to benefit the firm. Punctual, generous and with a good sense of humour. Outstanding lawyer with impeccable credentials.”

I have read CV’s with pages of this stuff on them, and can never understand why anyone with any common sense would not realise that there is absolutely no point including any of it on the CV.

According to many students I have spoken to over the years, careers advisers at various universities and colleges have said that this is the way you do your CV, and this is the sort of thing that employers want to see.

I must say that our approach (and that of other recruitment consultants I have spoken to) has always been that a CV should contain factual information only. I see many CVs prepared each week from some of the bigger legal recruitment agencies and they spend considerable time and effort on organising and structuring their CVs, probably more so than smaller agents (we fall into the extremely small category these days!).

Every single one I have been sent over the years by candidates using their agency CVs contains streams of factual information setting out numbers of files, caseloads, billing levels, types of law, any technical issues dealt with, anyone worked with on particular cases etc. I have never seen a prepared CV containing the sort of waffle I see on CVs from careers services.

A CV should contain objective information, not subjective. How do you know whether you have a good sense of humour? Who says you have good communication skills? This is partly why you attend interviews, so that the interviewer can gauge for themselves who you are, where you are coming from and whether you will fit in at that firm or company.

So if you are writing a cv and reading this – I would not use bulletpointed lists or paragraphs of information about your skills set – I am not interested as an employer – I never read them – I could probably send a good one out myself saying that I have a good sense of humour, but this would be a complete lie!

For further assistance with CVs – please visit our careers shop – we sell legal careers ebooks, CV templates for solicitors plus bespoke legal CV writing and review services.

Legal Recruitment News is produced by Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment – you can view all versions of the e-newsletter at Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment was established in 2000 and donates 10% of profits to charity, hence the name.

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