Our unrivalled experience, expert knowledge and honest approach to legal recruitment helps provide clients and candidates with a specialised, professional service that can’t be found elsewhere.
Founded in 2002 as a dedicated agency focusing on legal recruitment for law firms across London and the regions, the agency continues to provide unsurpassed legal recruitment solutions to Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and London.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Litigation Solicitor, NQ – 1 Year PQE, £37K - £40K ( DOE), Guildford, Surrey Our client is full-service law firm and a leading Surrey practice with 7 offices in Surrey and London. Having both Legal 500 and Chambers Ranked, the firm is well known for its excellent but with a great inclusive culture for its lawyers. The Legal 500 (a leading independent guide to UK law firms) recommends the family, employment, corporate and commercial, commercial litigation, contentious trusts and probate, personal Tax and commercial property teams The Role Undertake fee earning work and provide a profitable contribution to the work of the department. To handle all forms of dispute resolution for commercial and private clients, with an emphasis on Commercial litigation and Property litigation. To build and develop own case load and participate in the marketing of the Department by active participation in networking, seminar provision etc. To maintain and improve client care. To work effectively with other Departments. To develop own specialist areas of work. Who are you? You will be a dedicated and ambitious NQ – 1 year PQE Solicitor with a passion for litigation work. Combining both Commercial and Property Litigation, the role supports a varied caseload of litigation work. Other areas which are desirable are the knowledge of: • Prior knowledge of Evolution or other office management systems • Prior knowledge of Lexcel requirements • Prior experience of property litigation • Prior experience of commercial litigation If you would like to learn more about this opportunity contact Leilani Reader at firstname.lastname@example.org or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642511 (office hours) or 07974429861 (out of office hours). LR Legal is a specialist legal recruitment agency with a reputation based on trust and integrity. We will always ask your permission before sending your CV to any of our Clients. The PQE identified on this advertisement is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE. LR Legal Recruitment is operating as an Employment Agency in respect of this vacancy. *We require a lawyer who has gained the necessary experience for the position advertised. The PQE identified on this advertisement is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE
Residential Property Solicitor
Dartford, United Kingdom
Residential Property Solicitor 1+ year’s PQE, £32k - £37k ( DOE), Dartford, Kent Our client is one of South East London and Kent’s most successful independently owned Property Solicitors. They have grown over the years and due to expansion are now seeking to appoint a number of new Property Solicitors. The Role To undertake fee earning to a high standard Assist in the development and marketing of the firm To provide a profitable contribution to the work of the department Process instructions in accordance with established procedures of both good practice and the firm’s case management system Effect financial controls for matters under supervision in conjunction with the Head of Department Supervise the work of any secretary reporting to him/her Promote and support the firm’s core values and branding Who are you? Qualified solicitor, Licensed Conveyancer or Legal Executive with 1+ year’s PQE or equivalent. Previous experience and knowledge of residential conveyancing Must be computer literate Excellent interpersonal and communication skills Previous experience in client handling with problem solving ability Excellent organisational skills Numerate Articulate Able to work with minimum supervision Good Team player If you would like to learn more about this opportunity contact Leilani Reader at email@example.com or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642511 (office hours) or 07974429861 (out of office hours). LR Legal is a specialist legal recruitment agency with a reputation based on trust and integrity. We will always ask your permission before sending your CV to any of our Clients. The PQE identified on this advertisement is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE. LR Legal Recruitment is operating as an Employment Agency in respect of this vacancy. *We require a lawyer who has gained the necessary experience for the position advertised. The PQE identified on this advertisement is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE
In house Solicitor
London, United Kingdom
Interim In-House Legal Counsel, London, 3 months. Great daily rate client is an innovative Data Solutions provider. They are a hugely successful company, working in a fast paced, energized environment, with a bar set high, and an ability to build long lasting partnerships both internally and externally is vital. They are looking for an interim in-house legal counsel to join their growing team and help manage our growth, both in the UK and internationally. As an experienced commercial technology UK Qualified Solicitor you will be charged with the responsibility of leading on commercial contract negotiation as well as key operational areas such as data protection policy and compliance. The Role: General contract/commercial work, working alongside the commercial team and senior management across the business advising on drafting, reviewing and negotiating commercial contracts Compliance work; identifying contractual/compliance risks and advising on policy and practice; Supporting other departments on legal responses Ensuring that the business understands relevant data protection legislation across the international footprint in which it operates and driving policy to ensure policy and processes are appropriate Reporting to the UK Managing Director, you will have excellent exposure across the business, and will constantly be looking for ways to improve systems, processes and procedures. Who are you? The successful Legal Counsel will be technically strong and will meet the following criteria: Must be at least 3 years PQE with "front line" experience Previous experience of an In-House position gained with a respected company preferred Ideally with experience in the technology sector and with data protection legislation on an international basis Highly approachable with the ability to develop and maintain professional relationships Strong management skills with the ability to communicate legal concepts to non-legal staff Persuasive oral and written communication skills Hard working, passionate and dedicated to the cause High energy, flexibility and drive To be comfortable with ambiguity A sense humour and fun to work with If you would like to learn more about this opportunity contact Leilani Reader at firstname.lastname@example.org or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642511 (office hours) or 07974429861 (out of office hours). LR Legal is a specialist legal recruitment agency with a reputation based on trust and integrity. We will always ask your permission before sending your CV to any of our Clients. The PQE identified on this advertisement is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE. LR Legal Recruitment is operating as an Employment Agency in respect of this vacancy. *We require a lawyer who has gained the necessary experience for the position advertised. The PQE identified on this advertisement is a guide only and does not preclude applications from those with more or less PQE
Commercial Litigation Solicitor 3-5 years PQE+
Godalming, United Kingdom
Commercial Litigation Solicitor 3-5 years PQE, £43-50K dep on experience Godalming, Surrey A leading regional firm is looking for a highly motivated and talented solicitor with 3-5 years PQE to join their thriving Dispute Resolution team in Godalming. The firm, operating since 1837, has 4 offices across the South East and continues to develop and grow. The role It is an exciting time to join a reputable department which is a major contributor to the profitability of the firm and have the full support of the team and senior management to develop your skills and client base. They are looking for someone to build their career with them, achieving a rewarding work/life balance, with a firm which allows talent to flourish and prosper. You will need to have previous experience of the following: Commercial/Contractual disputes Shareholder/Partnership disputes Insolvency Intellectual Property Debt Recovery What they are looking for 3-5 years PQE in handling a broad commercial litigation caseload Strong technical knowledge Experience in business development with a willingness to get involved Motivated and high attention to detail Team player Desire to progress in role What they can offer A generous salary, pension and bonus structure A great culture with dress down Fridays, companywide events and socials and CSR activities Childcare vouchers, eye checkups and reduced dental Flexible and remote working If you feel you would be a good fit and would like to learn more about this opportunity, then contact Alison Banks at email@example.com or call for a confidential discussion on 0208 464 2506 or 07979 952 201.
London, United Kingdom
Commercial Paralegal with a view to a training contract, £24,000 - £28,000, London A rare opportunity has arisen for two Paralegals to join a Commercial Law firm in London who specialise in Business Contracts, Litigation, Corporate & Commercial, Employment, Intellectual Property and Tax. With the added bonus that this role does come with a clear path to a training contract, for the right candidates, as all their trainees started as paralegals. What is the role The firm currently consists of the Founder, 1 Chartered Accountant, 4 Partners, 5 Associate Solicitors and 2 Trainee Solicitors. You will be covering a wide range of matters, gaining some excellent, hands-on experience. The role is fast moving and technically challenging, so you will need to be agile and the ability to think on your feet. Responsibilities for this role will include: Vetting new enquiries and creating a good impression Meeting and greeting clients Taking notes Assisting Solicitors with the running of their files Preparing court documents, proof reading and submissions Writing material to promote the firm, showing an understanding of how law translates into business What you will need Minimum requirements: Previous Paralegal experience in Corporate/Commercial law Completed the LPC Strong academics, at least a 2:1 at degree level Excellent communication skills Ability to multi-task High accuracy level If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or other paralegal jobs in the market then contact Matthew Heard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642565 or 07887523228.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Property Paralegal, £22,000 - £25,000, Guildford, Surrey Our client is a very strong law firm with 7 offices throughout Surrey and South West London. The ethos of their approach to clients is to be receptive, responsive and friendly. They believe these attributes can only prosper if all employees deal with each other in a similar manner. They are proud of their reputation as a friendly firm that people enjoy working for and working with. The Business Law department is looking to recruit a Paralegal to join their team in Guildford. What is the role The Business Law department currently operates out of the Head Office in Guildford and in total comprises of 4 Partners, 1 Senior Associate, 1 Assistant Solicitor, 1 Solicitor and 2 Paralegals, as well as additional support staff (Legal Secretaries). Whilst the role is within the Business Law team, the Fee Earner you would be supporting specialises in Property Lending, so the firm are particularly keen to meet with candidates who have experience in Residential Property matters. Main responsibilities for this role are: File creation Completion of client questionnaires Raising enquiries with opposite solicitors, reviewing and reporting on title to security property, drafting finance documents, arranging for transfer of funds for the completion of transactions and all post-completion registration administration Undertake on-line form filling requirements, including Companies House forms Preparing AP1’s, dealing with registration and all post-completion formalities, including Land Registry requisitions Obtaining information from local authority and other organisations Attending clients both in person and on the telephone Deputise for Fee Earners in own office in their absence What you will need Minimum requirements: Paralegal/Legal Assistant with experience in Residential Property is essential Paralegal/Legal Assistant with experience in Business Law is desirable Advanced IT skills High accuracy levels Communicates professionally with clients, agents and others involved in the conveyancing process Prior knowledge of Evolution, or another case management system is preferable Prior experience with Land Registry application/Portal processes What they offer 25 days holiday, plus Bank Holidays Private medical cover Contributory pension Life assurance (4 x annual salary) Employee Assistance Programme Training and Development Programme Cycle to Work Scheme Travel to Work Loan Scheme If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or other paralegal jobs in the market then contact Matthew Heard at email@example.com or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642565 or 07887523228
We believe that market expertise, knowledge, trust and clear and continuous communication are the vital ingredients for a successful relationship between a candidate and consultant.
Our candidates tell us we offer great advice, support and encouragement throughout the whole process.
We will help you fully prepare for your new role at each step, from CV writing through to the interview stage, guiding you with considered career advice tailored to you.
As a legal-specific recruitment agency, we offer a bespoke recruitment service for law firms and businesses who work across a host of sectors.
Unlike other recruitment agencies, we position ourselves as an extension to your HR team, committed to understanding your firm's needs and providing you with only the best and most appropriate candidates.
We work hard to ensure the recruitment process is as effective and efficient as possible.
The international Working Diaries – Part 2
As we enter the third month of our agreement of a 12-month remote working arrangement with our Marketing Manager Natasha that sees her travelling the world, this is her second diary installment into how she is finding working from the other side of the world. It happened. My first WiFi fail! It happens in Hoi An, where we arrive at our hotel just in time for me to connect to the internet and join a catch-up call with Leilani and then a prearranged online meeting with two of our suppliers (the 7 hour time difference means I am in early evening whereas the UK is just getting started). My diary is packed for two hours and I’m meant to be kick-starting it all in exactly 17 minutes. A terrible time then to discover that the hotel WiFi offers a grand total of 1 bar, and even then, the commitment this one bar offers is non-existent. I naturally start to panic. I’ve been so conscious of being present and available during my time away (this article about people working from home actually working harder when they are working remotely – totally believe it!) and the lack of WiFi sends me into a tailspin. I booked this hotel specifically for my Wednesday and Thursday work commitments, there’s a nice desk and they even provide a pad and pen, what’s up with the terrible internet connection?! I go down to the foyer to ask more questions (IE let them know they’re making me look bad), and where the WiFi IS strong enough, I shoot a quick message to Leilani to say I’m running ten minutes behind. As always, she is gracious and understanding and is happy to push back the meeting to quarter past. From there I leg it out onto the street and hope I can find my way back without my trusty Google Maps. Luckily, our hotel is located quite centrally, and I’m able to find a mobile shop just around the corner. I part with a hefty £8 for 12 GB of mobile data and a new sim card and I head back. As I set up my phone hotspot (back at the lovely desk with no WiFi) and connect my laptop, it occurs to me: I really should plan for these things, and make a promise to myself that moving forward I will buy a local SIM as soon as I cross new borders. Those 12GB of data did successfully see me through my working week, and for the reassurance it provided me that I could do my work for the rest of our time in Vietnam, it was the best £8 I spent (and I had a lot of good coffee in Hoi An). It meant that whilst Leilani knew there had been a hiccup, but my calls with external contacts continued as seamlessly as normal, and as an agency, we could honestly still say “Yes, this is working brilliantly!”. With time differences, uncertain WiFi connections and plans that are continually changing, it’s important that I am flexible but also accessible. Apart from meetings that I set in advance, I try to keep my working hours as fluid as possible, to allow for changes in travel plans, or to go on last-minute day trips, or indeed to be on the way to a coffee shop to do some work and save a puppy instead. But that’s a story for another day!
What makes the perfect match in recruitment?
Happy Valentine's Day! With love in the air, we asked our team, from their experience, what makes the perfect professional match? Here’s what they had to say on the matter. Alice, our senior legal recruiter specialising in Property, explained, "Being a real partnership, whatever your position or role, is so important to create a dynamic, seamless working relationship. It ensure you are respectful, you have the same goals, and you are supportive of your teammates." Matt, our legal support consultant, said, "Communication is key! Being able to talk, and be listened to, is vital. It seems like such a small thing, but actually it makes a real difference. You notice it every day. Leilani, our director, mused, "I think having the same ethical standpoint and ideas on a work culture make for a wonderful and long-lasting working relationship. If you agree on how your office should be and how your work is conducted, it makes for a happy and relaxed team and ultimately, people enjoy and want to continue to come to work." Alison, our senior legal recruiter, advised, "Transparency and honesty has built the best professional matches I've seen. I really do believe that being open and upfront is key to building foundations that last." In the spirit of the day, we also spoke to a couple of candidates and clients who agreed with our consultants. Emma, a current candidate, explained “For me to commit to a new role, I need to know we’re both in it for the long-haul. As I progress in my career, I’m looking for Partnership, so a fleeting 1-2 year stay just isn’t for me.” Our client, Amy concurs. “There’s nothing worse than a commitmentphobe! I want long-term candidates who are willing to go the distance with our firm.” If you’re starting to think a professional divorce might be imminent, let our friendly team of legal recruiters help you find your perfect match. Get in touch with the team here, or find our current vacancies here.
Our team’s most hated office tasks
The recent worldwide survey by Automation Anywhere has caused quite the buzz across social media, with lots of people sharing their most hated office tasks. As expected, plenty of admin related jobs came up, with a smattering of people related tasks and the odd niche issue that only a particular sector could relate to. I decided to put the question to our team, and whilst they would all shout from the rooftops about how much they love their jobs, they were VERY quick to decide the least favourite parts of their role. Alice "Manual CRM updates, definitely. I know I have to do it, and so I do, begrudgingly, but my brain has already moved on to who I feel would be perfect for a role, or how I can pitch to a potential candidate who is not actively looking but is a great match. Capturing the data from the conversation and translating it into our CRM just slows me down. I would LOVE an automated system that is smart enough to listen to my phone calls, dictate all the information and put the relevant data in the right boxes. That’s the dream future isn’t it? Come on job robots!" Matthew "Writing job descriptions. Aah, my nemesis. It sounds ridiculous because it’s such a big part of my job, but my brain is not good at translating my passion for a role onto paper. I find myself using the same words or forgetting to add in the best parts of a job! Because I want to get people as excited about the role as I am, it does take me so much longer than everyone else on the team, and sometimes I do need to go back and triple and quadruple check to make sure I’m getting across what I need to. BUT I do take it as a personal achievement when a candidate comes back and says they love the sound of a particular job. Like, YES! I did it! Maybe I don’t hate writing them as much as I think I do? No, no I do." Gabby "Leaving voicemails. That’s it, my most hated task. Pointless, time-consuming things that don’t get me an answer or reply quick enough!" Alison "Paperwork -filing it, organising it, trying to find a lost bit - basically just anything to do with the paper that lives on my desk. I mean, I know it’s my own doing. Just look at Matt’s desk - it doesn’t look like anyone works there! But I love my system, it works for me and it means when I get to my desk first thing, my morning goes without a hitch because my paperwork is organised from the night before. But as 4.30pm creeps up, having to sort it all again for a good morning tomorrow... hate it!" Leilani "Coordinating interviews is the bane of my life. Slightly dramatic perhaps, and I’m sure the main feelings of frustration stem from feeling like it’s the only part of the recruitment process I don’t add value to but it does irk me. I can’t see anyone’s diaries, I don’t know whether my candidate has client commitments for their current role, or if, by the time my candidate comes back to me, which interview slots have been filled or plans have changed. The worst interview booking process I ever managed was a week! Can you imagine, an entire week of back and forth, on emails, voicemails, phone calls and texts? It was painful. The only joy was my candidate was offered the role and is now a partner that I regularly have contact with for new recruits, which is a pleasant full circle. But oh, the nightmares I have about interview coordination." Whilst all jobs have their downsides (after all nothing is perfect!) if you are finding that all the tasks in your role are becoming unbearable, you can get in touch with our legal recruitment team here to talk about current opportunities available across London and the South East.
Do bonuses work – why two of our team disagree.
Following Gregg’s recent announcement of bonuses being paid to all of their current staff following a very successful 2019 for the company, a conversation opened up in our office about the power of offering bonuses. Two of our consultants had differing views on whether a bonus is enough to convince a potential employee to join, or indeed, entice a current employee to stay. Here’s what Alice Neal and Alison Banks had to say on the subject. “Of course bonuses work!” – Alice Maybe I am speaking from personal experience, but absolutely, bonuses work on so many levels! Whilst it is great to offer a multitude of benefits, I find that it is the opportunity of bonuses that will often drive a candidate’s choice. We work with the best legal talent in the candidate pool, so understandably there is often more than one firm who is interested and trying to attract the person we are working with; offering a bonus, where there is no other obvious preference, will definitely help swing a potential new employee. Bonuses also signal an appreciation for staff, And as humans, we want to be rewarded for going above and beyond, and a bonus allows us to aim for something more than the job description. It motivates staff to work harder and dedicate more to their roles, and not only that, it then rewards them for that hard work. I don’t understand why some firms don’t offer them, to be honest. “There are better things to offer.” – Alison There’s a reason why counteroffers don’t work, and in situations where they do, more often than not, the person has still left the firm within 6 months. Money isn’t the only reason people go to work, and it’s time we acknowledge that. We work with a range of seniority levels, and so reasons for leaving roles do vary, but a reoccurring theme is a wrong cultural fit, lack of Work/Life balance and not feeling part of a team. If these are some of the things your firm is missing, then a bonus is not a replacement for them. Offering a bonus is merely a plaster to a bullet wound, and the money would be much better spent supporting your teams in the way they need. Also, I’ve heard horror stories of firms using bonuses for carrot dangling, and as a result, employees working themselves into a burnout – being overworked, miserable, tired and mostly, fed-up. Staff who are working themselves into the ground for a potential bonus are also the most likely to become disheartened and resentful, which is then reflected in the client care they give and the work they produce. I wholeheartedly think that there is so much more to offer your staff than a monetary bonus – now employees want flexibility, appreciation and accountability, not just extra money. If you’re looking for a new job, bonus or not, you can get in touch with our team to discuss current opportunities in London and the South East here.
Motivating yourself in the workplace
The January blues may be hitting you hard as you return to your desk to tackle 2020, and even if you love your role, it is completely normal to have times when you feel your biggest asset to the firm is your procrastination skills. As it’s a common issue facing the workforce in 2020, we have put together a few tips on how to kick start your motivation again. Set aside some time to identify the whys It’s easy to say ‘it’s just the January blues’ but be sure that is all that’s hindering you. Be honest with yourself and look at anything that might be causing your lacklustre approach - boredom in your role, feeling unappreciated or overwhelmed, or even external influences at home such as family stresses might be holding you back at work. Look at all the factors and help yourself by identifying any issues first. Review your techniques How do you stop yourself procrastinating? Do you even know? And if you do, do these processes still work? As we professionally develop, so do the tools we use to be our best self at work. Maybe your motivation is missing because the means you’re using aren’t working anymore. Perhaps as a newly qualified, you relied on paper piles on desks and to-do lists to get work done, but now technology is more appealing to you. Be sure to keep your devices for motivation in keeping with your way of working for maximum effect. Take a break It seems counterproductive but procrastination usually begins when your brain starts to wander and if you’re not being productive, is there any value in you staying at your desk? Listen to your body when it starts to move away from the task at hand – have you eaten enough, have you moved your body recently, have you engaged with another person today? All of these things will be a welcome pause and will encourage you to get back to your work with vigour afterwards. The Pomodoro Technique is a highly valuable method for breaking down bigger tasks and ensuring your brain gets a break. It is simple and effective – pick a task, set a timer for 25 minutes and try and get as much as you can done in that time. When the timer goes off, step away from your desk and have a 5-minute break. Check your phone, make a drink, catch up with a colleague. And when you’re ready, do it again. Cut out the unnecessary To-do lists can be helpful when tackling a day’s work, but if it’s an overwhelming rollcall of jobs, many of which are uninspiring or laborious, it’s unsurprising that you may not feel driven to get them all ticked off. Take a long and critical look at what needs to be done and sort it into new lists – strike off anything that isn’t even needed, make a demoted list of less-pressing issues and leave yourself with just the time-sensitive and critical pieces. A great tool we recommended to candidates and clients alike is The Eisenhower Matrix. It allows you to look at your work, and segment it into four quarters: important and urgent, important but not urgent, not important but urgent, and not important and not urgent. By having these quadrants, you can look at tasks more logically and effectively delegate work, prioritise your own workload or even remove things from your list. It’ll be a great jumping point to making your workload more manageable and to encourage your motivation to return. It is very common for even the best of workers to feel unenthusiastic or apathetic to their work from time to time, but it's how you tackle it that speaks more about your professional character. And of course, if you are starting to wonder if the lack of motivation is actually down to a desire for a new challenge, you can always look at our current legal vacancies here.
A day in the life of our Consultant Alice
My day begins at... Technically 7am, but I snooze until 7:15 before I force myself up and get myself and my daughter ready for the day. We all have breakfast together, (including my dog Jess), and I’ll grab my green tea and lemon to go before I do the school run. One of the many benefits of working locally and having flexibility at work means I get to see my daughter through the school gate every day. First thing I do when I reach my desk is… Say hi to my colleagues. Because we all work different hours, sometimes people are in before me or have been off the day before, so it’s lovely to have a quick catch up whilst the kettle’s boiling. And then my first port of call is responding to emails and returning calls. I’m responsible for… The property desk at LR Legal, which means I source specifically property candidates across all levels, and clients come directly to me if they have a related vacancy. I love working within a sector because it means I can keep abreast of all issues and legal updates, and I can help clients and candidates quickly and efficiently. My favourite part of my job is… When I hear from a candidate I placed to say they have received a promotion, or are still in love with their role even after a significant amount of time has passed. I pride myself making the right match, rather than just any match, so when I hit the nail on the head it’s so rewarding. My least favourite part of my job is… When I don’t click with a potential client. I’m always honest with the people I work with, so I’m willing to explain to clients why a set salary isn’t realistic, or their expectations are too high, and I always offer alternatives. It’s difficult when they choose to go with a different agency as a result, but it just means we weren’t the right fit for each other, and I would never want to mislead them as to what I can achieve for them. I finish work at… Various times thanks to my flexible hours. I do longer days on Monday and Friday and finish at 5, but on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I am out of the door at 3 pm to pick my daughter up from school. And I will usually spend my evenings… I’m very active so I make sure to fit my exercise in around my family and social life, and in between running and yoga, I also act as chauffeur to my daughter’s ballet classes. We sometimes spend evenings doing homework or playing family games, and usually, Fridays are reserved for catch-ups with friends. My hopes for the future are… Personally I have so many exercise-related goals such as cycle 100 miles and swim the serpentine, but from a professional aspect, I want to continue to develop my reputation in the sector as the go-to recruitment consultant for Property vacancies, for both clients and candidates. I want LR Legal to be synonymous with Property recruitment for all firms and candidates across London and the South East.
Christmas conduct in the workplace
As decorations start to adorn desks, and people begin to make plans for team festivities, we thought we would take the time to touch on a few points that are maybe more important at this time of the year more so than any other. Generally speaking, everyone seems to love the holidays, however, these 5 key points work as a reminder to both employees and employers what to bear in mind when getting into the festive spirit at work. Someone may not be taking part Be considerate to those around you as not everyone may celebrate Christmas. Whilst it is a nationally recognised holiday here in the UK, there are many religious, personal or financial reasons a colleague may not be taking part. Be respectful to those around you, and don’t assume involvement. Try and lead with neutral and easy questions like “Have you anything exciting planned for your time off?” rather than presumptive questions like “Are you having all the family round for Christmas?”. Don’t let alcohol rule the roost There is nothing worse than feeling like you’ve embarrassed yourself in a situation – whether you’ve jovially joked about getting in the spirit of things with someone who does not drink, or you’ve had one too many at the Christmas Party. Alcohol doesn’t have to be the centre of the celebrations, so why not try to plan a team dinner, or a night out bowling rather than the stereotypical bar crawl? Workload doesn’t take a break Whilst it is lovely to be able to relax as the year comes to an end, for many, it is still a busy and stressful time, as Christmas can often mean deadlines for clients and projects. Be sympathetic to those around you who perhaps are feeling the brunt a bit more than you, and offer to help where you can, particularly so if it’s a team member whose load you actually can lighten. You’re still in work Unless you are lucky enough to be self-employed, or you work in silo, it is likely that the impact of your behaviour will be felt by the people you work with, and vice versa. If you’re in a position to, remind your team that you expect them to still behave like they’re at work – arrive on time, be attentive to clients, finish their work. However, if you’re not in a managerial position, talk to your manager if someone’s behaviour is grating on you. It’s better to discuss it and nip it in the bud than let it fester and cause tension. Remember that it ‘tis the season In direct contrast with the rest of my advice, do try to keep in mind it is the season of giving and joy. Perhaps the team member who turned up late wasn’t out partying but drowning their sorrows because it’s a hard time of the year. Or maybe there was a client lunch that overran and your team were late back, but they have over-delivered this year on that particular client’s output. Be mindful of the time of the year, the emotional impact it might have and similarly why your colleagues deserve a break as 2019 comes to an end.
The international working diaries – Part 1
Back in September, we announced our Marketing Manager was going entirely remotely, and internationally, for 12 months as she travelled the world with her partner. In our first blog post, we discussed why we wanted to take this step as an agency, what we anticipated and what our fears were. It’s been an interesting first month, and here’s how Natasha, our Marketing Manager, has found it so far! I took the first two weeks of my official remote working position as a holiday so I could acclimatise, have a bit of a break and “come back to work” refreshed and rejuvenated. Leilani and I have agreed that I will work my hours in and around my plans and travelling, but I still want the team to feel supported whilst I’m away, so I had checked in with my emails and made progress on a couple of tasks during that time. My main concern about working entirely remotely was the time difference (I don’t want to send our account managers emails at 3 o clock in the morning, or chase my team at 8 o clock at night!) so when I first booted up my system in mid-November, I kept my clock on UK time. (Technically I was logging in at 7 am, and as a non-morning person, this THRILLS me.) As soon as I open up all my systems and tools, it surprises me that, despite the view of the palm trees and street dogs of Koh Samet, I slip straight back into my working ways. I catch up with the team about client care, follow up some new exciting projects LR Legal are currently working on and run some analysis on our social channels. On the following Wednesday, I have calls with Leilani and one of our account managers, scheduled nicely at 4 pm and 5 pm respectively for me, which gives me time to go out and get breakfast, explore a bit of Chiang Mai and head back. I learnt quickly that day that this is a good idea unless you accidentally give yourself food poisoning by eating somewhere new! So instead of the casual plans I had, me and my nausea head back to rest before starting work at 3 pm. As it’s only 8 am in the UK when I log in, the time difference is actually my friend! Leilani and I have our first skype call (from the not so glamorous view of my hotel room) and it goes surprisingly well. It feels like we’re having the same weekly catch up we always do, and it’s lovely to hear from her as I’ve been out of the office for 3 weeks and don’t tell them, but I miss my team. Apart from some buffering, we spend an hour hashing out ideas, agreeing on upcoming plans and catching up about projects. It’s a productive hour with clear outcomes and tasks – just how I like it. This first month has been a learning curve for me in time management and availability, but I have realised that working from home 1-2 days a week since being at LR Legal, has actually set me up for working entirely remotely. It’s still me and my laptop, just working with the team from a slightly more exotic location! And my concerns about the time difference and access to good Wi-Fi could not have been more unfounded. I have better WiFi here than I do from home, and actually being 7 hours in front makes me look like the early bird I always wished I was. So far, so good! But the next instalment will be Leilani’s – so I’ll reserve judgement until we hear from her!
Artificial intelligence, technology and the legal sector
A recent report from Dell Technologies suggested that 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been created yet. An amazing statistic, but is it plausible to apply to the legal sector? Given the constant development of technological offerings, cloud-based systems and growing competitive markets, whilst it may not be as high as 85%, it is a certainty that the future of different roles offered in our sector are sure to adapt and grow, thanks to the development of artificial intelligence and smart tech. If you think this isn’t realistic, and we are getting ahead of ourselves, we have already seen a substantial change in the industry regarding support roles in the last 10 years. There is now a strong desire to hire people for positions such as CRM Manager, Diversity & Inclusion Manager and In-House Project Managers, whereas 10 years ago these wouldn’t have even been considered by the majority of law firms. Not only have we seen these roles be created and implemented into firms, due to automation and technological development, we are also seeing job descriptions develop and change. Legal Secretaries are a great example of the development of an industry role. Beyond note-taking, telephone answering and drawing up legal documents, legal secretaries today are expected to update CRM systems, participate in client care and events and follow internal technology best practices. Experience with particular systems is desirable now and firms will often look favourably on those who are tech-savvy or keen to develop their technical skillset. As we continue to see growth in the tech market and an introduction of artificial intelligence into the legal sector, what does this mean for the legal professionals of the future? Well hopefully, more time. AI-powered software allows for documentary analysis, due diligence checks and contract and document preparation, allowing more free time to those who were previously bulked down with these hefty admin tasks. By allowing the machines to take on administrative responsibility, billable hours can be better spent serving the client. And with an ever-increasing focus on client care, the timing could not be better. Alongside AI, there will also be resulting increased opportunity in the sector, with Deloitte’s recent report suggesting that whilst 31,000 jobs have been lost, 80,000 have been created, the majority of which are a higher skill set and better pay. By embracing technological innovation and keeping abreast with new software and tools, a law firm employee could actually be opening up more career doors than they are closing. And finally, AI will pave the way for interpreting and suggesting recommendations for firm growth and business development. The amount of data currently available in most firms are vast - from financial and billing statistics to digital marketing and client analysis. Creeping into the market are tools that allow firm leaders to successfully interpret, analyse and report on a cross-section of information, to set benchmarks against similar firms and to help suggest targets and goals for the business. This is an indisputable benefit to artificial intelligence in the face of data and logic. So whilst technology is creating roles and affecting current ones, it is an exciting time to be recruiting in this amazing industry. We are excited to see how positions will develop and to see what new roles are born out of the technological era. If you’re currently preparing a recruitment strategy to tackle the changing skills landscape and need some support, you can contact our team here.
How to ask for a pay rise
There are many reasons you may choose to move on from your role – discontent with progression opportunities, a mismatch between you and the company values or even trying a different career path. However, if it is monetary value that is your key motivator, and ultimately you are happy and fulfilled by your role, then you should broach the conversation of a pay rise with your line manager. But where do you start? Choose your timing There is nothing worse than apprehending your line manager when you’re all enjoying team drinks after a well-earnt success. Be sure to broach the topic of increasing pay in a professional, prepared and planned manner. Usually, pay rises are discussed in 1-2-1s or annual reviews, but that doesn’t mean you should wait. Speak to your manager and pop a meeting in their diary with a clear agenda outlining your ideas to discuss. Bring your own evidence In the run-up to the meeting, be sure to evidence your contribution that indicates you deserve this increase. Keep a diary, write a timesheet, whatever is best for you to accurately and fairly display the work you have been doing – list all your accomplishments and additional responsibilities. It would also be great to do a compare and contrast with your current salary banding to show justification for your boost, so speak to HR and ask for whatever frameworks your firm has in place, your job description and show that you are consistently exceeding expectations. Bring market evidence If you’re asking for your wage to be increased because of market rate, prove it. There are many tools available online to showcase what your role should be being paid, and can be split between region, seniority and sector, but similarly, you could conduct your own research. Network with peers, check current job advertisements and be sure what you’re asking for is fair and reasonable. Prepare, prepare, prepare If you perhaps get nervous, or you are worried about how you are going to come across in your meeting – just practice. Write out exactly what you want to say and practice it ahead of time, perhaps with a loved one playing the other person. It sounds simple but imagining the scenario and adequately preparing for it in advance will mean you come across much more collected. And always feel free to take in your notes, so you are sure to remember everything and be able to showcase your research. Of course, not every pay rise request will be accepted for a myriad of different business reasons. HR policies can restrict managers' rights to give pay rises outside of certain time brackets, or the firm may have a set percentage increase limit (most are around 4%), so be sure to continue the conversation even if you’re met with a no. Understanding the reason may still incentivize you to stay with the firm, however, if you don’t feel that the reason is satisfactory, then perhaps the next job is to look at roles that you will enjoy just as much with a wage you deem acceptable. If you’re interested in looking for a new role, you can get in touch with our team here who would be happy to help, even just to discuss the market average for your role and what your peers are doing in terms of career development and progression.