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.
Family Legal PA/Secretary
East Dulwich, United Kingdom
Family Legal PA, up to £32,000, Dulwich A rare opportunity to join one of the largest law firms in South East London, who offer a wide range of top-quality legal support and advice. The firm pride themselves on being approachable, yet always professional, reliable, consistent with a genuine desire to exceed expectations. They are now looking to recruit a Legal PA to join their family department The role Supporting the Head of Department directly on a 1:1 basis, you will be assisting with a range of private family matters that will include but is not limited to: Divorce and civil partnership dissolution Financial orders Children matters Cohabitation Nuptial agreements Domestic violence and injunctions You will be a key member in this very small but busy department What they are looking for Previous Legal Secretary/PA experience in family law is essential Excellent IT literacy, including familiarity with Microsoft Office Excellent attention to detail Ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure If you are interested in this role, or are looking for your next legal secretary job, please get in touch with Matt to discuss our current opportunities we have available in London and the South East. You can reach Matt via email at email@example.com or you can call him on 0208 464 2565 or 07887 523 228
Property Legal PA/Secretary
London, United Kingdom
Property Legal PA/Secretary, £28,000 - £32,000 per annum, Fulham Our client is a leading South East law firm, with over 220 people working in their 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 Property department is now looking to recruit a Legal PA/Secretary to join their team in Fulham. What is the role The Property team in Fulham currently consists of 3 Partners, 1 Managing Associate, 1 Associate Solicitor, 1 Consultant Solicitor and 1 Chartered Legal Executive, as well as other support staff members. You will be providing direct support to a Partner in the Commercial Property team, who deals with a wide range of commercial property work that includes investment acquisitions and disposal, property development and business leases acting for both tenants and landlords, as well as a Partner in the Residential Property team, who deals with the acquisition and sale of freehold and leasehold properties, advising on trusts of land and drafting agreements and advising developers on sale of new build and redevelopments. You work will be directly split 50/50 between the two partners. Main responsibilities for this role are: Preparing correspondence and documents through audio-typing and word-processing Administering filing, which will include daily filing and the opening, closing, storage and retrieval of client files in accordance with the details contained in the office manual Preparing mail and enclosures for dispatch Making appointments Prepare the conference room for meetings Provide guidance to junior and temporary secretaries when required to do so Operating the case management system Attending clients both in person and on the telephone What you will need Minimum requirements: 2 years’ Legal PA/Secretary experience in both Residential and Commercial Property (Ideally) Advanced IT skills in relevant packages Excellent typing skills High accuracy levels Demonstrates a pro-active approach to work with a positive attitude An excellent level of attention to client service, being able to interact well with both internal and external clients Prior knowledge of Aim/Axxia, or another case management system is preferable What they offer 25 days holiday, plus Bank Holidays Healthcare cover Contributory pension (5% from employer, 3% from employee) Life assurance (4 x annual salary) Annual bonus scheme (payable in November) Other peripheral benefits, such as Travel to Work loan scheme If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or other legal secretary jobs in the market then contact Matthew Heard at firstname.lastname@example.org or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642565 or 07887523228.
Property Litigation Solicitor
Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Property Litigation Solicitor, 2+ years PQE, £38k+, Tunbridge Wells, Kent Legal 200 accredited law firm with an enviable reputation are now looking for a Property Litigation Solicitor to join this successful team. The Role The department currently advise clients on: contentious aspects of property portfolio management including landlord and tenant disputes, easements, boundary disputes and adverse possession claims across a range of sectors including retail, charities, food & drink, logistics and agricultural. The team’s client portfolio includes funders, charities, restaurants, property investment funds, property developers’ large corporate clients and high net worth individuals This role will offer opportunities to work autonomously, with support from the team. It will focus on providing a premium service to clients, proactive marketing and business development and exceptional client management. The successful candidate will have a clear progression pathway and will be joining a highly collaborative and collegiate culture. Who are you? You will have a minimum of 2 years PQE with a broad spectrum of experience in Property Litigation work. Looking to work with a calibre team couple with a solid reputation in the market Tenacious litigator, solid commercial acumen and ambitious to move your career forward. 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
Family/Child Law Paralegal
Grays, United Kingdom
Family/Child Law Paralegal, £20,500 per annum, Grays Our client is a one of the largest, multi-sited law firms in East London and Essex. Providing legal solutions for individuals and businesses for the last 40 years, the firm have developed an outstanding reputation and continue to strengthen. Their lawyers advise and work with individuals and their families across London and Essex dealing with complex and demanding cases. Chambers ranked and Legal 500 listed the firm works on national and international legal cases, with many cases being reported in the press. They are renowned to be trusted to be involved during some of the most critical times of a person’s life. The firm’s ethos is to work hard to understand what their clients want to achieve when you work with them. Due to an increase in workload, the firm are now looking to boost their Family/Child Law team in Grays with a Paralegal. The role Although you will be providing support to the team in general, you will also get the chance to work closely with a small number of fee earners in the department. There is a preference for the Paralegal to have previous experience in family and child law matters, as well as private and legal aid experience. However, the firm will also consider applications from candidates with previous experience in only legal aid family/child law. The role will involve assisting the team with the following: On being requested to do so, to assist in the processing of all enquiries and dealing with all aspects of a case from initial instructions to completion in such way as to ensure the smooth and profitable running of the practice Attending clients where appropriate to do so of relevant matters under supervision Attending Court with Counsel and assisting Counsel during Court session as required Carrying out any request which is authorised by a Partner of the firm and is consistent with his or her general duties Preparation of bundles of Pleadings Instruction of Counsel Time recording promptly all work carried out Archiving old files Assisting other Fee Earners in their cases when requested Processing, distributing and answering mail and telephone communications in accordance with requirements of the Office Manual This is a full- time role, Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.30 pm What they are looking for Paralegal/Legal Assistant experience in Family/Child law matters Knowledge of Legal Aid Strong client facing skills Ability to prioritise own workload What they can offer Workplace pension scheme Free eye-tests 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.
Family/Child Law Paralegal
Barking, United Kingdom
Family/Child Law Paralegal, £20,500 per annum, Barking Our client is a one of the largest, multi-sited law firms in East London and Essex. Providing legal solutions for individuals and businesses for the last 40 years, the firm have developed an outstanding reputation and continue to strengthen. Their lawyers advise and work with individuals and their families across London and Essex dealing with complex and demanding cases. Chambers ranked and Legal 500 listed the firm works on national and international legal cases, with many cases being reported in the press. They are renowned to be trusted to be involved during some of the most critical times of a person’s life. The firm’s ethos is to work hard to understand what their clients want to achieve when you work with them. Due to an increase in workload, the firm are now looking to boost their Family/Child Law team in Barking with a Paralegal. The role Although you will be providing support to the team in general, you will also get the chance to work closely with a small number of fee earners in the department. There is a preference for the Paralegal to have previous experience in family and child law matters, as well as private and legal aid experience. However, the firm will also consider applications from candidates with previous experience in only legal aid family/child law. The role will involve assisting the team with the following: On being requested to do so, to assist in the processing of all enquiries and dealing with all aspects of a case from initial instructions to completion in such way as to ensure the smooth and profitable running of the practice Attending clients where appropriate to do so of relevant matters under supervision Attending Court with Counsel and assisting Counsel during Court session as required Carrying out any request which is authorised by a Partner of the firm and is consistent with his or her general duties Preparation of bundles of Pleadings Instruction of Counsel Time recording promptly all work carried out Archiving old files Assisting other Fee Earners in their cases when requested Processing, distributing and answering mail and telephone communications in accordance with requirements of the Office Manual This is a full- time role, Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.30 pm What they are looking for Paralegal/Legal Assistant experience in Family/Child law matters Knowledge of Legal Aid Strong client facing skills Ability to prioritise own workload What they can offer Workplace pension scheme Free eye-tests 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.
Residential Property Paralegal/Legal Assistant
Guildford, United Kingdom
Residential Property Paralegal/Legal Assistant, £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 Residential Property department is looking to recruit a Paralegal/Legal Assistant to join their team in Guildford. What is the role The Residential Property department currently operates out of all 7 of their offices and in total comprises of 9 Partners, 3 Senior Associates, 2 Assistant Solicitors, a Licensed Conveyancer, 3 Paralegals, 5 Legal or Property Assistant/Administrators, 4 Post-Exchange Executives and 13 Legal PA’s/Secretaries. Specifically, the Residential Property team in Guildford consists of 2 Partners, 1 Assistant Solicitor, 1 Legal Assistant and a 2 Legal PA’s. Main responsibilities for this role are: Preparing correspondence and documents Administering filing Undertake on-line form filling requirements, including SDLT Preparing and submitting Land Registry forms (AP1, UN1, RX1, etc.) Preparing mail and enclosures for dispatch Progress client matters without fee earners supervision and in the absence of a fee earner Making appointments Operating the case management system Attending clients both in person and on the telephone What you will need Minimum requirements: Paralegal/Legal Assistant with experience in Residential Property Advanced IT skills Excellent typing 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 What they offer 25 days holiday, plus Bank Holidays Private medical cover Contributory pension Life assurance (4 x annual salary) Annual bonus scheme – offers the opportunity to earn up to 7% of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call for a confidential discussion on 02084642565 or 07887523228.
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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.
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.
Why you’re not getting the job and what you can do about it
Being turned down is an unfortunate but expected part of the job-hunting process, whether you didn’t hear back from a firm or you made it to final stage interviews and didn’t get the offer, and it could be a multitude of reasons why you’re not now handing your notice in and prepping for your new role. Your CV wasn’t eye-catching enough It is a well-known fact that you have between 5 to 8 seconds for your CV to catch a HR manager’s eye. If yours is poorly designed, has grammatical errors or has irrelevant information, it could be that your CV was discarded before you even had a chance to prove your worth. You can see some top CV writing tips from CV library here. Your salary expectations weren’t realistic When asked the question about your earning potential, did you answer truthfully and had you done your research prior to the question being asked? Unfortunately, budget is a large part of the hiring process, and many firms have set bands for roles. Anything above the set bands and it has to be signed off by Partners, and as a result, they may offer the role to someone who has requested a salary within the framework. This basic salary comparison tool from Total Jobs may be helpful for you to garner the benchmark for your role and area, or speaking with peers could be really insightful into what salary you should be requesting. You stumbled in the interview A regrettable event, but it happens to the best of us. Maybe your mind went blank, or you answered the wrong questions – whatever happened, you can certainly learn from it and moving forward you know your weaker points to tackle in your prep. If you feel you need to overcome nerves, there’s a great guide by Big Interview on how to scupper your nerves and present your best self. You weren’t as well presented as you could have been First impressions are everything, from what the hiring manager sees of you waiting in the lobby to how you come across to the receptionist as you leave. If you have done your research, or indeed your recruitment agency is worth their salt, you should have a good idea before arriving what the firm expects from potential employees – the dress code, performance and style of current employees, and the brand style of the firm should all give you an insight on how to present yourself. If you feel you didn’t fit the firm, for future interviews it’s definitely worth researching. They hired internally Not as common as people may think, but sometimes we do hear that the firm loved the candidate, the Partners felt they would be a great fit, their salary expectations were fair and their experience exactly what they wanted – but they’ve decided to go with someone internal. A frustrating experience for you and for us, and not much advice to give on this, as essentially the job was yours. However, you can take the experience and use the feedback to boost your confidence for your next interview, knowing that you have all the skills you need to succeed. If you’re looking for a new role, get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help you, from CV formatting through to interview prep.
The arguments for and against unlimited holiday
As unlimited holidays become a more common occurrence across the UK, with the likes of Eventbrite and DropBox offering their teams unlimited paid time off, a discussion began in our office where it became clear two members of the team were clearly on very opposite sides of the fence on the issue. We asked them to write down their arguments so you could start to think about which side of the debate you fall under. For – Matthew Heard, Legal Recruiter It’s a no brainer for me - why would a firm NOT offer unlimited holidays? It is after all the ultimate flexible working option and a real testament to a firm’s commitment to a work/life balance. By offering your staff unlimited paid leave, no matter their position or seniority, you are showcasing your trust in your employees and displaying how much you value every member of the team. By affording your staff the luxury of unlimited holidays, you are also handing them back control of their workloads. Unlimited holiday also means your staff are able to take what they need to perform best in their roles. Usually, holiday is used up by family commitments - sick children, family weddings, celebratory lunches - and so people are coming back to work having used all of their holidays but having not taken a break at all. Unlimited holiday means your staff may take an extra 5 days for a week away relaxing, but the value you’ll get in return when they get back refreshed and revitalised will be worth so much more. Netflix’s former big boss Patty McCord was famed in the recruitment industry for saying she would ‘only tolerate fully formed adults’ and I couldn’t agree with that more. I have always spoken with clients about the troubles of micro-managing and that if you’re hiring the right person, they are responsible enough, capable enough and experienced enough to know how to manage and deliver their workload. I believe unlimited holidays are the same - you give the power back to the employee, and as a result, they are empowered to do their best and deliver the work, regardless, or perhaps because of, the fact they’re taking 35 days holiday a year. And of course, what an incredible benefit that I can use for my clients to attract the top talent to their firm! Against – Gabby Chinoy, Office and Finance Manager The idea of unlimited holiday is brilliant, but the realities and logistics of it make my head hurt; that’s why I’m in the ‘no’ camp. Here at LR Legal, we have an incredibly generous allowance of 28 days PLUS bank holidays, so we are already miles ahead of the national minimum requirements. perhaps that is influencing my thoughts, but it is already a struggle to get the team to take that! How do you manage employee wellbeing when ‘unlimited’ can also mean ‘untaken and no pressure to’? Keeping with the psychology aspect, I genuinely believe that if there was ‘unlimited’ amount, people would still want a figure. People, for the majority, like their boundaries set, so by removing the number you run the risk of people not taking their holidays at all for fear of not having a reference point to know what is ‘acceptable’. Then there’s the business logistics to think about. A culture that promotes unlimited holidays may result in team leaders being put in a difficult position. Should they need to say no because of business needs, it makes it slightly more personal to the person asking. But what are business leaders meant to do when they have client needs to meet, but a policy to adhere to. By offering unlimited holiday, the tools to put the business and clients first have been taken away. And finally, how do you monitor, report on and manage the impact of an unlimited holiday policy? If you have someone abusing the policy, and someone who is suffering on the team as a result, how do you address it? I think rather than unlimited holiday, maybe firms should focus on increasing the amount of days they offer, and review from there. If you'd like to speak to our team about your firm's benefits, or if you're looking for a new role that offers better holiday perks, get in touch with our team.
A day in the life of our Senior Consultant Alison
My day begins at... 6 am when my alarm starts, but it’s usually after 2 snoozes I tend to get up. Even though she’s 17, I make my daughter her breakfast and deliver to her in bed so I know she is awake and hasn’t overslept! After getting myself ready, I set off on a 20 minute drive to the office. First thing I do when I reach my desk is… Put the radio on! As I’m the first in the office, I do the ‘setting up’ for the day – turning on lights and printers, boiling the kettle, and getting ready for the rest of my team to arrive (Someone usually gets in about 20 minutes later so I’m not alone for long!) My first stop in my working day is to clear my inbox and make a to-do list that I can hopefully stick to! As I get in around 8 am this is also a great opportunity to call candidates who I can’t speak to during the day so I try to do my necessary calls before they start work. I’m responsible for… My own desk, but I support all disciplines of law, so it can be a bit manic at times. I recruit for anything from HR and Marketing roles through to Senior Associate level, so it’s vital that I keep all my plates spinning. In the office, I’m very much in charge of social activities – presents for the team, arranging after-work drinks and any coffee mornings or charities events we have! My favourite part of my job is… Telling a candidate they’ve got the job. When you’ve got to know someone and worked with them, there’s nothing better than being the one to give them the news they were hoping for. Because of our processes we really get to know our candidates, so you start to learn exactly what a new job will mean to them – more time with the kids, working in a field they’ve been trying to get into for years, supporting the community – whatever it might be, you can’t help but be thrilled when you help them achieve it. My least favourite part of my job is… Is having to tell someone they haven’t been successful, for the exact same reasons as above! You can’t help but build bonds with someone when you know that they’re moving roles to apply for a better mortgage with their partner or to re-locate to be closer to loved ones, so it’s so sad to tell them that the gateway to that dream is temporarily closed. But it certainly spurs you on to find them their perfect role! I finish work at… I officially finish at 4.30 pm when I leave the office, but I will chat with candidates in the evening and monitor emails from clients until I go to bed. My role is fast-paced, and we really want to support our clients, so if you have an opportunity to be on the ball, you take it! And I will usually spend my evenings… Doing stereotypical family things. I try to get to HIT training classes with my eldest daughter, I look after an elderly neighbour who is a young age of 98, catch up with my husband and try to keep on top of the washing and ironing so I don’t have to do it at the weekend! My hopes for the future are… To continue to be successful in our field. Our agency continues to grow and we’re lucky with our client loyalty, so I hope I can continue in helping candidates get their ideal job and our clients the right match.
100 years of women in law
December 2019 will mark 100 years since the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act came into force and enabled women to become barristers, solicitors, jurors and magistrates. It allowed women to take up positions of power and authority across the UK, and whilst it is certainly something to be celebrated, it is often mistaken as the only barrier removal needed for women to enter the legal and political fields. Women had to wait until 1928 to vote on the same terms as men. The Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act, whilst allowing women to take roles on benches and in courtrooms, meant they were still forbidden from joining the Civil Service. They couldn’t take up a place until 1946. Women were not allowed to sit in the House of Lords until 1958 as life peers, and 1963 as hereditary peers. Whilst women were allowed to sit on juries, a clause stated judges were able to have single-sex juries if the case or evidence ‘justified’ it. This resulted in women jurors being excluded from sexual or domestic violence cases. This wasn’t rectified until 1972. Of course, things are very different now to 1972, but the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act was in many ways, just the first stepping stone in equality for women in politics and law. But what of today? As of October 2019, there are about 479,000,000 results on Google for the search term “Women in law UK”. There are events, organisations, campaigns, networking opportunities and awards. There certainly seems to be a lot more resource available to women in the sector, and certainly much less political and legal barriers to women entering the space. Interestingly in 2017, although women accounted for 60% of people entering the legal profession, of the 30,000 partners in private practice only 28% of them were women. Because of this discrepancy, The Law Society acknowledges that one of their key aims is to support women in positions of authority and leadership and regularly runs campaigns. Following the gender pay gap issue in 2018, many law firms refused to publish their reports, and those that did, most did not include Partner pay data, causing rumours that the gender pay gap is too large to be acceptable across the sector. There are often reports in the media of unfair working conditions and obstacles to promotion for working mothers, and accounts and testimonials of sexual harassment that even in the #MeToo movement, is shocking and yet unchallenged. It’s not all bad news though. There are many positives occurring across the sector - more than a third of legal firms in the UK have signed up to the Law Society’s diversity and inclusion charter, there has been a definitive shift towards a focus on Work/Life balance and many firms are offering flexible working to accommodate working parents, and benefits seem to focus more on family. The First 100 Years organisation, set up by the Law Society to chart women’s progress from 1919 to the modern-day, is a dedicated resource for women across the UK and has set up awards and functions to help acknowledge and support women in the sector. There is no doubt the rights of women have developed hugely since 1919, however, there is still work to be done. Real commitment across all legal practices need to be made to improve diversity and remove structural barriers to women in law. Sexism and discriminatory practices, unfortunately, do still exist, and until these operational blockades are removed, we can’t hope to see true equality for women in the sector. That’s why we work with clients to address the needs of those joining their firm, to ensure there is support and that our clients are demonstrating a dedication to diversity and inclusion in all aspects of their firms. We listen to our female candidates and ensure we match them with the right firm that will respect the work they deliver and the contribution they make. If you’re currently looking for your next role, but are wary of undesirable cultures and workplace barriers, get in touch with us for an honest and confidential chat about current opportunities.
Legal directories – why they matter and who they influence
As our clients across London and the South East celebrate being ranked in the Legal 500 directory, we take a look at why Chambers and the Legal 500 directories are so important to firms and to candidates. Established in the mid-80s, whilst initially considered obtuse by the sector, the London-based directories of Chambers and Legal 500 have become an established part of the annual legal calendar. The publication of the results in Autumn can cause firms to celebrate or commiserate yearly and are thought about and worked on long before that. The effort that goes into the submissions for both publications are complicated, detailed and long-winded. Entire marketing teams are to put to work to ensure they present their firms in the best light, and the resulting accolades proudly displayed on marketing materials and digital spaces across the country. For firms, the benefits of ranking are numerous. Apart from being a clear signal to potential clients of the quality of the firm’s work, it allows the firm to set themselves apart from competitors, improves their visibility online, and because of the detail given in the directories, it offers a detailed insight into the type of work the firm offers, attracting top legal talent. To be ranked suggests the firm, team or individual are a key player in the legal field, and it can mean the difference between instruction or a brush-off. Of course, the directories will not be the only deciding factor in a client choosing the firm, as there is rarely just one influencing aspect that result in a conversion in any purchasing decision. However, it is certain that the directories aid, and are used as, part of a client’s research alongside other material such as reviews, word of mouth and initial impressions and presentations. For candidates, it is a great indication of the quality and type of work the firm offers its employees. Because of the details the directories delve into, with interviews, submissions and reviews, the rankings are a fairly accurate and mostly fair reflection of the firm’s teams, clientele and cases. It is also beneficial to an individual’s career to work in a ranked firm. They are often the firms that are working on complex cases, in fast environments and with top clients. It aids the candidate’s professional development and makes them much more appealing for future hires. As a result, the firms get better legal professionals applying. The benefits of ranking in these well-known and respected directories are apparent, to both the firm and its clients, but there is a time, effort and financial cost implicated with the application part of the process. The firm has to be committed to delivering a great submission, and it will inevitably take up the time and energy of partners, perhaps the hiring of an agency to manage the process, and even then there is no guarantee of inclusion. However, it is a worthwhile process to go through should it acquire a firm better hires, better clients and a better reputation amongst peers and competitors. Get in touch with our team to find out which of our Chambers and Legal 500 firms are currently hiring, or how being in the directories can help your firm attract formidable legal talent.
Leading the way in flexible working and going international
Anyone who knows me professionally will be aware that I am a massive advocate of flexible working. And not in the ‘fill in a form, jump through hoops for 3 months to have one pre-determined day a week to work from home’ kind of way. I believe in affording your employees the best environments to do their job in. By allowing them the flexibility to work in a way that’s best for them and giving them the ability to put their best foot forward every time, I wholeheartedly believe it enables my team to give our clients and candidates 110%. Because of this freedom and trust, together we have created a work/life balance that breeds great team morale, strong loyalty to the agency and high bouts of dedication to their roles. I have been offering flexible working since I started the agency in 2002, where we were the forerunners then. So, it is with great delight I can say, for the first time in the agency’s history, we will have our first entirely remote and international worker! Our Marketing Manager Natasha, through a series of very fortunate events, has been given the opportunity to travel the world with her partner and of course she wanted to take it (who wouldn’t?). We sat down and had an honest and frank conversation about whether her role would work from across the seas. She loves her role here with the agency and was loath to have to hand over her projects to someone new! Through transparent communication, clear goals and KPIs, and set boundaries, we decided that we would try to make the role work for both of us. It is the first time we have tried it here at LR Legal and it is very much its infancy of implementation. At this point we have set out expected hours, role requirements and accessibility, for both her and us, and we will try and test in the first few months, with the agreement that it must work for everyone, and we will remain agile as needed. Of course, flexible working from across the oceans comes with its own set of concerns - time differences for one! - but it is an incredibly exciting test, and one that if it works could change the way the agency operates! As part of our voyage into the unknown, we will be sharing our experiences and thoughts with you, the clients and candidates, so perhaps you can learn, or be inspired by our ventures into being truly flexible. Every month we will do a blog post from both of our perspectives and look at what works well and where we’ve had to adapt, how we’ve found the experience so far and what we are looking forward to next. Natasha sets sail on the 29th October and we’re very excited about this next adventure for the agency.