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.
Practice & Compliance Manager
Enfield, United Kingdom
Practice & Compliance Manager – Enfield – circa £55,000 (negotiable) This 10 partner Commercial practice, Legal 500 law firm is in the market for a Practice & Compliance Manager. The ideal candidate will be currently a Practice Manager in a law firm and/or a Compliance Manager. The role The role will be a split between practice management duties and compliance/regulatory work as follows: Premises IT/systems HR/Staff recruitment Annual & monthly accounts Attendance at Partners meetings Keeping the staff and fee earners up to date with the latest regulatory requirements Maintaining their policies and procedures/office manual Annual renewal of their ISO and CQS Accreditations Staff training Liaison with the SRA/Law Society/Legal Ombudsman Monitoring and maintaining various compliance related registers Renewal of the firms’ PII insurance covers and other insurances Hours are 9am – 5pm. What they are looking for Legal experience either as a Practice Manager or in a Compliance role Good IT skills Highly organised Ability to work alone and equally as part of a team What they can offer A competitive salary Contributory pension scheme Parking in locality Encouraging and supportive working environment If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or other opportunities in the market 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
Credit Controller £35k - £43k dep on experience, London (City) Are you a credit controller with legal experience looking for your next career move in the legal sector? An incredible opportunity has arisen to work for a reputable Business law firm in the City who offer a very different career lifestyle to that of many of their larger competitors. The quality of their work is extremely high and the standard of their lawyers and support staff is equal to that of any major City firm. The Role Reporting to the Financial Controller, the role will involve the following: Develop the firm’s credit control procedures and implement enhancements where appropriate Create and implement procedures for accelerating the billing of WIP Revise and implement procedures for accelerating cash collection Managing the outstanding client balances falling due Communicate with clients, partners or staff to manage and improve cash collection Manage all aspects of Billing and Credit Control reporting including creating reports where necessary Manage escalation procedure for addressing old WIP and debt What they are looking for Experience of Credit Control within a law firm is ideal, they will consider strong professional services experience Able to demonstrate achievements in all of the above tasks Strong academic background High level of IT literacy Hardworking and diligent with a high attention to detail Excellent communication skills Able to work independently What they can offer A generous salary and bonus scheme 25 days holiday plus an additional day for the Christmas holidays Private medical insurance, yearly vaccinations and life assurance Season ticket loan If you are interested in this role, our client is looking to move quickly, so please send across your CV to Alison Banks via email at Alison@LRlegal.co.uk or if you’d like more information about this opportunity or others we have, call Alison for a chat on 0208 464 2506 or 07979 952 201
Commercial Property Paralegal
Farnham, United Kingdom
Commercial Property Paralegal, £18,000 - £20,000, Farnham, Surrey A firm of solicitors with offices in Surrey, London, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire are currently looking for a Paralegal to join their Commercial Property department. This is an excellent opportunity for a Paralegal/Legal Assistant with experience in Property matters (either Commercial or Residential). The firm also have a very clear route for Paralegals to secure a training contract, subject to satisfactory performance. They have an unusually high Partner to Assistant ratio, to ensure every client receives the same professional partner-led service, whatever their requirement. A cornerstone to their reputation and ongoing success is providing a quick and efficient response, personal contact and timely ongoing communication. The role This Commercial Property Paralegal will be joining a small team, which currently consists of 2 Partners, who both have their own secretarial support. The successful candidate will be supporting both Partners and will get exposure to high level commercial property work. This will involve a broad range of commercial property matters, to include but not limited to: Sales and purchases of commercial properties Landlord and tenant agreements Business leases and dilapidations Acquisitions and disposal of businesses with significant property elements What they are looking for A Paralegal or Legal Assistant with previous property experience (either Commercial or Residential) A hard working and motivated individual Confident and pleasant telephone manner Excellent IT and organisational skills What they can offer Competitive salary 20 days annual leave (plus Bank Holidays) Company pension 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
Residential Property Conveyancer
London, United Kingdom
Experienced Residential Property Conveyancer/Legal Executive or Solicitor 3 years + PQE London £45,000 to £60,000 A leading London firm, committed to delivering high quality, innovative and dependable legal solutions, are looking to employ a Residential Property Conveyancer, Legal Executive or Solicitor to join their growing team, to focus on supporting the department with caseloads and further developing the team’s client base. You will handle a varied and busy caseload, acting for first time buyers, high net worth individual, financial institutions and experienced investors and will be working on matters involving: Freehold and Leasehold sales and purchases Remortgages Buy to let Equity release Help to Buy Auction sales/purchases Lease extensions New leases Shared ownership First time buyers What they are looking for 3 years + PQE or experience in a similar role Strong commercial awareness and an advanced approach for Business Development Demonstration of exceptional client care Able to deliver on financial targets A desire to progress within the role What they can offer A competitive salary, generous pension plan and bonus scheme 25 days holiday plus bank holidays Regular staff events and socials throughout the year If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or other opportunities in the market then contact Alice Neal at email@example.com or call for a confidential discussion on 0208 464 2524 (office hours) or 07904922615 (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.
Blackheath, United Kingdom
Part-Time Family Paralegal, £18,000 - £20,000 (pro-rata) per annum, Blackheath 6 months Fixed-Term Contract (starting December/January), with the possibility of extending for another 3/6 months Are you a Law Graduate currently studying the LPC? Are you looking for a role that will fit in around your studies? Our client is a multi-sited law firm, with offices in Croydon, Medway, Blackheath and Guildford. Their lawyers deliver a first-class service across all of their departments, with the emphasis on obtaining the most favourable outcome possible for their clients. The firm is now looking to boosts its well-known family department with a Paralegal in the Blackheath office. What is the role As a key member of this team, your role is to support the family department on a broad range of family law matters. This is a part-time role, working 3 full days per week, so would ideally suit candidates who are currently studying the LPC. Main responsibilities for this role are: Take new client instructions Applying for public funding To attend the Family Justice Centre and Public Law Outline meetings To progress injunctive relief matters to their conclusion, to include carrying out advocacy duties in respect of non-defended hearings Attending court with counsel Taking instructions from clients in care cases Booking experts Drafting applications to court, including C2 and Part 25 applications Preparing court bundles Time recording Preparing and submitting claims for costs, including on-line claims Preparing events based High Cost Case Plans What you will need? Minimum requirements: Previous Paralegal/Legal Assistant experience in Family law is desirable but not essential Experience using a case management system Excellent communication skills IT literate 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.
Commercial Solicitor NQ-3 years PQE
London Bridge, United Kingdom
Commercial Solicitor NQ – 3 years PQE+ - £ 42-50K dep on exp – London Bridge A traditional, established Legal 500 firm of solicitors with 3 offices in South London have an opening in their London Bridge office for a Commercial Solicitor to assist 2 Partners. They have 31 Partners, experts in their fields, recognised as outstanding individuals in the legal world by Chambers, The Legal 500 and their peers. They are committed to providing excellent client services for a diverse client base. The role You will assist 2 partners with their commercial work, with an opportunity to develop further commercial work. The work will include: Drafting, negotiating and reviewing a wide range of commercial agreements including agency, distribution, term and conditions, loan, consultancy, partnership and licences Advising on transactions such as share and asset sales and purchases. Corporate governance and removal of directors and shareholders Part of the role will be involved with business development and supporting marketing initiatives in line with their business plan. What they are looking for New or recently qualified up to 3 years PQE Commercial Contracts experience Strong commercial acumen Employment law knowledge would be an advantage Ability to communicate and work with diverse clients Ability to work to tight deadlines Willingness to grow the business through networking and social media communication What they can offer Competitive salary Pension Private medical cover Life Assurance and income protection Season ticket loan Continued professional development Social events including free company events and subsidized gym membership If you would like to learn more about this opportunity or other opportunities in the market then contact Alison Banks at email@example.com or call for a confidential discussion on 0208 464 2506 or 07979 952 201.
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.
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. It sounds cheesy but 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.
Back to school – Why CPD is important
The leaves are starting to turn, the shoe polish is out, and the rucksacks are packed. It might be for the kids, but it’s also true for a lot of legal professionals across a myriad of sectors, as September arrives, and Continuing Professional Development courses begin to run again. Once you have qualified as a solicitor, it is vital that you record your ongoing training with the SRA annually under a continuing competence declaration. Whilst it is less cumbersome than the previously dictated 16 hours of accredited CPD training from SRA approved suppliers, it is still often seen as a chore amongst legal professionals who feel training eats into their business development and fee earning time. CPD is a critical part of being able to provide the best advice and service to your clients, and whilst there is an emphasis on your firm to be able to support your CPD requirements, there is a real sense of fulfillment in taking responsibility for your own training needs. The most obvious purpose to keep up with Continuing Professional Development is the changing law and keeping your technical capabilities sharp. When there are proposed or actual legislative changes in your sector, it is critical to be up to date and to know how it could affect your caseload and clients. Many firms have a dedicated arm of training, which either sits under their HR team or is the responsibility of each department’s Professional Support Lawyer. Your HR department should be able to guide you on who to speak to about your CPD. CPD broadens your skillset and expands your knowledge. CPD can apply to your sector or any crossovers, so it really is a prime opportunity to improve both your business development and networking skills, allowing you to learn when cross-selling could be appropriate, and it affords you the ability to confidently support and promote colleagues. Of course, CPD is part of an ongoing process, and can only be effective when it is consistent, relevant and tailored, so bear this in mind when deciding on what courses to attend and time to dedicate to your training. On top of the many positives CPD can offer, dedicating time to developing yourself professionally will help you build a successful and satisfying career. It means you are constantly evolving, learning and progressing, keeping you at the top of your game and delivering the best advice and service. If you don’t feel your firm is offering you what you need to progress your career, get in touch with our team to find out more about our clients who consistently put budget, effort and time into developing their staff.
Do you include disability on the Diversity & Inclusion agenda at work?
This article was originally published by Yasmin Sheikh in 2018 for Diverse Matters and has been re-published here with her kind permission. When you talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace do you think about people with disabilities? Disability is often not included on the diversity agenda. When you think about disabled people do you think about just sticks and wheelchairs? What about non-visible disabilities and long-term health conditions? It's time for disability to be put firmly on the diversity agenda, so how do you recruit and retain disabled talent? What is a disability? You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities. This definition can include conditions such as cancer, dyslexia, diabetes and is much wider than people think, as includes both visible and non-visible disabilities/long-term health conditions. Many people are probably unaware that they come under the umbrella of the legal definition of disability and this is one of the reasons for non-disclosure. Amongst those that are aware, their condition may be manageable and therefore, does not impact their work and so there is no reason to inform their employers. Reasons for including disability on the diversity agenda: We are an ageing population and will have to work for longer. Over time our senses and minds will change. If you stick around long enough then you will probably become a member of the disability club. At any one time, one worker in six will be experiencing depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress. In many cases, these problems lead to absence from work. The average employee takes seven days off sick each year of which 40 per cent are for mental health problems (Source: The Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Policy Paper 8). If we are unable to speak about this at work openly then this will just further the stigma and shame surrounding mental health. Most disabled people acquire their disability whilst of working age – 86 per cent so employers need to be able to respond to this. People with disabilities are the biggest minority group. People will disabilities tend to develop additional skills – problem-solving, empathy, resilience and seeing things from a completely different angle. If you are not recruiting disabled talent then you are missing out on a large talent pool. Tips for Employers to work in a more inclusive way I have some general do’s and don’t below but this list is not exhaustive. I will use the example of a wheelchair user as this is based on my personal experience. 1. Attitude If you have an open attitude to people with disabilities your staff will feel able to embrace and express their differences freely and authentically. There is no better way to improve confidence and fulfilment at work. A recent survey shows that it is the perception of disability, that causes the majority of challenges that people with disabilities have each day. 2. Awkwardness Don’t define somebody by their disability. Wheelchair users, for example, have heard all the 'jokes' and 'lines' thousands of times such as, “don’t drink and drive”, “don’t run me over”, “have you got a license for that?”, “women drivers!” These are some of the common ones. It is simply a lazy reference to the chair when people feel the need to say something due to perhaps awkwardness on their part. We all make mistakes, especially if we are not used to disability. If you do say something which you feel caused offence then simply apologise quickly and move on. 3. Awareness a). Language Be aware of your language. An easy way to remember whether a word may cause offence or not is asking yourself, is it disempowering or empowering? The word “wheelchair-bound” for example, is banded about and is part of everyday language, but it suggests someone who is passive and disempowered. Why is language important? Thoughts affect our words and our behaviour. The more commonly accepted word is “wheelchair user”. b). Etiquette Most chair users do not like someone leaning on their chair and treating it like a piece of furniture. You wouldn’t just lean on someone’s arm. It is an invasion of someone’s personal space. Do not push someone without asking. Empower the individual by allowing them to approach you should they require assistance. A final thought… is it the disability which is disabling or could it be the attitudes, environment and infrastructure of your organisation? If you need disability awareness training at your organisation then please contact Yasmin via www.diversematters.org Thank you again to Yasmin for allowing us to re-publish her insightful blog. Diverse Matters is a specialist training consultancy who works with organisations and people to approach diversity and disability (both visible and non-visible) with confidence and strength and has worked with many key players in the legal sector. To get in touch with their team, click here.
A day in the life of our Consultant Matt
My day begins at... 6:30 am by the loud shrill of my alarm, which has already been 'snoozed' a couple of times (yes, I am one of those people). This is quickly followed by “daddy, can we have some breakfast please?” by my 3 children (although the please is sometimes missing). After giving the little people their breakfast, it is off out for a 45-minute walk with my dog Marley. First thing I do when I reach my desk is … Look at my “to-do list” for the day that I have prepared before leaving the office the day before. In recruitment, it is very common to be pulled in many different directions during the day, so I find having a to-do list is really important. I’m responsible for … All Legal Support roles at the firm, although I do have some fantastic colleagues who will also take on some of the roles when there is too much going on. I have been known to also dabble in some technical support at the agency, but only dabbling at the moment! I also look after a roster of clients, as each client with the agency has a dedicated account manager. My favourite part of my job is… As cheesy as it sounds, I genuinely enjoy helping people secure new roles. Changing jobs is such an important/stressful part of our lives and I take great delight in being able to take some of that strain from candidates. From our initial contact about what they are looking and current vacancies, to after they start at their new firms, I just really enjoy offering support throughout the whole process (my TrustPilot reviews speak for themselves!). My least favourite part of my job is… Not being able to reach candidates and having to communicate only through email. I completely understand how difficult it is to take calls when at work but I really enjoy the human element of actually talking to candidates on the phone. But I'm flexible so I'm happy to chat in the evenings and at the weekends when it's a bit more relaxed for our candidates, and they're not rushing to take personal calls on their lunch. I finish work at … I usually finish at around 5 pm, as our Director is really keen for us to have a good work/life balance. It's because of this approach I'm more than happy to work around the candidates. And sometimes it is easier to do that after the children have gone to bed, as nothing is more guaranteed than for one of them to come in and say “DADDY!” as soon as I pick up the phone! And I will usually spend my evenings … This really does vary, but a fair amount of my weekday evenings are spent providing a taxi service to the many clubs the children go to. When I get the chance, I absolutely love spending some time down my allotment. There is nothing better for me to clear the mind of the stresses and strains of daily life than spending a couple of hours amongst the vegetables (and weeds!). My hopes for the future are… To continue to grow the legal support desk at LR Legal. When I first started here legal support was an area that we covered but did not have a dedicated desk/consultant. The ultimate aim is to grow the support desk to a level where we have a number of consultants solely supporting our clients on their paralegal, secretarial and assistant needs. To find out more about our team and what role they play in the agency, please click here.
Using a recruitment agency – why you should, and why you shouldn’t
Many candidates have misconceptions about recruitment agencies – that we are perhaps focused on the client’s needs rather than yours, that we don’t have access to all jobs or that we might try to push you into a role that isn’t the right fit for you. If you’re not sure how we could help you with your job search, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of using an agency. Why you should Support – We do this every day, and we know what it takes to find someone their perfect role. We can offer you support with your CV, guide you through the interview process and negotiate on salary and benefits on your behalf. Established relationships – We focus on client care and as a result, we have excellent relationships with the firms we partner with, meaning we know their style, culture, requirements and benefits inside out. Because we have these partnerships in place, our clients respect our expertise when recommending candidates. Speed – searching for a new job could be a full-time role in itself. We take the time to get to know you and what you’re looking for, we make sure to capture all of that information and then we will only reach out when we have a decent match for you, so it saves you time and stress. Why you shouldn’t Using your initiative – If you approach a firm directly, perhaps even one that isn’t actively advertising a role, it shows a genuine interest in the firm and many hiring managers will appreciate such a direct and forward-thinking approach. Even if they don’t have a role immediately, you will make a good impression and build a good contact base for the future. Internal referrals – The legal profession relies heavily on word of mouth and reputation for clients, and often staff recruitment is the same. Many firms encourage current staff to share live roles and will offer a referral fee for successful placements, so if you see a connection on LinkedIn promoting a vacancy at their firm, reach out to them. If you’d like to see our current roles, click here or get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you.