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Tamara Salem

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Tamara Salem

Principal Consultant - Legal

I focus on the recruitment of qualified solicitors across all commercial practice areas into permanent positions within Private Practice. I place an importance on building long-term relationships with my clients and candidates based on trust, excellence and consistent delivery. 

My clients range from leading US and UK international firms through to a number of West-end and boutique practices.

I have obtained experience within a boutique legal agency and with an international recruitment company, focusing on permanent positions into leading firms in the London market. I have worked with a range of White Shoe US firms and leading International firms in the London market.

I endeavour to provide a full consultative service with a focus on strictly adhering to both the candidate and the client's requirements and having a full understanding of the legal market. Through this approach, I am able to offer advice and expertise for a candidate's future progression as well as working for those actively seeking a new role. 

Outside of work, you can find me exploring London and trying to squeeze in weekend trips around Europe.

If I wasn’t in recruitment, I would love to be a travel photographer – or a luxury resort reviewer! 

tamara's latest roles

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What people say about Tamara

Tamara is an excellent recruiter - I have used her for both of my moves in London, and would not go to anyone else. She provides phenomenal support at every stage - proof checking CVs, mock interviews, information on interviewees, etc etc. I felt very well supported, and trust her advice. She's veryresponsive , and never tries to push roles that are not the right fit. I cannot recommend her highly enough! 

Tamara is a sharp and bright individual who helped me find a new role. She is extremely knowledgeable, well-connected and was able to identify potential employers within the London City market. She was also always available and ready to answer my questions. Also, an excellent coach in terms of interview preparation. I can highly recommend Tamara for her professionalism.

Tamara is incredibly professional and market-savvy and goes the extra length for her candidates. I came from Australia thinking I would have a really tough time finding work, and thanks to Tamara I was in a fabulous associate role within 3 weeks. Thank you so much for all your assistance, in particular the thorough mock interview and prepping throughout the process! 

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Companies Tamara has worked with

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This White Shoe US law firm offers market-leading legal salaries and has a strong reputation within the Private Equity space. 

This Magic Circle firm has a leading reputation in the London market, offering excellent work,  institutionalised  clients and excellent levels of training for legal professionals.

This West-Coast based US law firm has been growing considerably in London over recent years and offers a balance of quality work and an enjoyable working culture for legal professionals.

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tamara's articles

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September 2019: Legal Movers & Shakers

Posted by Tamara Salem

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in September 2019: Three lawyers have been promoted to Counsel in the London office of Shearman & Sterling. Alastair Goldrein (financial restructuring and insolvency), Margaret Ryan (international arbitration and public international law) and Tsegaye Laurendeau (international arbitration). Simmons & Simmons have appointed Paul Baker as the new leadership in its Dispute Resolution team. Paul chaired the London Asset Management Litigation Team and is a member of the firm's Crime, Fraud and Investigations Group, and will now take on the role of Dispute Resolution National Practice Head for the UK. Christina Blacklaws, who served as the Law Society of England and Wales' 174th president and fifth female president, holding office between 2018-19, has joined consulting and technology business Mason & Cook as a Non-Executive Director. City firm Wedlake Bell has appointed William Granger as Partner to help spearhead its Employment team. William previously founded the employment group at law firm Campbell Hooper in 1995 which has merged with two other firms to create what is now Charles Russell Speechlys. KMPG's legal services has welcomed two new Partners, Kate Eades and Usman Wahid, to it's Business Structuring and Transactions group. Kate joins from Greenberg Traurig where she was Partner for almost eight years specialising in corporate law, and Usman comes from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner after fourteen years as a technology and outsourcing Partner. Joining as senior associates, Elizabeth Cookson, Laura Flanagan and Venisha Shah have joined Slater and Gordon's London Family Law team. For more information about this article, or to speak to Tamara about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk. Back to Legal Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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August 2019: Legal Movers and Shakers

Posted by Tamara Salem

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in August 2019: Mona Vaswani is leaving Allen & Overy to join Millbank Corporate Head of Fraud, Mona Vaswani is leaving Allen & Overy to join Millbank’s expanding office. Leading a new group in the City office, she will be joining the firm having spent 26 years at the Magic Circle firm where she started as a trainee. Taylor Wessing hires Alison Dennis, Fieldfisher’s former life sciences head After the firm previously lost four Partners to Goodwin Procter, Taylor Wessing have begun to reassemble its group by hiring Alison Dennis, Fieldfisher’s former life sciences head. Dennis will be starting as the International Co-Head of Life Sciences, having previously been at Fieldfisher for over a decade. Goodwin’s London team secures Ali Ramadan, from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe As well as the previous four Partner hire from Taylor Wessing’s life sciences and technology team, Goodwin’s London team have secured a new hire. Ali Ramadan, from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe will be joining the firm advising on cross-border M&A and private equity transactions for the technology industry. Mark McNeill, former Shearman & Sterling Partner, will be starting at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan Mark McNeill, former Shearman & Sterling international arbitration partner, will be starting at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan as a new partner in their New York office. McNeill previously worked as an attorney-advisor in the US Department of State in Washing DC, representing investor state arbitrations. For more information about this article, or to speak to Tamara about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk. Back to Legal Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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What to Expect from Different Types of Law Firm

Posted by Tamara Salem

Choosing the law firm that’s right for you can be a daunting task. There are positives to every type of law firm and your decision will ultimately come down to what you are looking for in your future career as a lawyer. According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, as of last year there were nearly 10,500 law firms in the UK, all offering a unique and varied experience in terms of what to expect from your legal career. Here at Pro-Legal, we have outlined the main points to consider when choosing which type of law firm is best suited to you as an individual, from top Magic Circle and US firms right down to smaller boutique law firms. Magic Circle firms If you are looking to relocate to do banking, finance, corporate and international work, London’s Magic Circle is the place to be! For the past 15 years the ‘Magic Circle’ has consisted of a distinct group of five - Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May - and all are top of the list for revenue and partner profits, offer a broad scope of work (both national and international) and excellent training and development programmes in a fast-paced environment. Of course, there are pros and cons, but training and working at one of these top UK firms is highly desirable to many solicitors. Silver Circle firms London’s large commercial firms - otherwise known as those in the ‘Silver Circle’ - are not hugely different from the Magic Circle in terms of specialisms, work, hours and progression, but they fall just below them in terms of turnover. Silver Circle firms include Ashurst, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Herbert Smith Freehills and Macfarlanes, and all of these firms post significantly higher profit per equity partner and revenue per lawyer than the rest of the UK’s legal market. US firms US firms based in the UK can offer excellent salaries, hands-on experience early on in your career, and access to the US market. American firms based in London include Kirkland & Ellis, Skadden and Weil, Gotshal & Manges, and these firms are generally characterised by the finance and corporate international work that is involved. However, US firms also come with their own unique culture, which often means longer working hours and the added pressures that come with fewer associates, billable targets and a higher salary. Mid-sized commercial firms These firms often enjoy similar profitability to those bigger London firms. You will find these mid-sized firms work primarily in business law and focus less on international work than, say, Magic Circle firms. These mid-sized commercial firms, including Addleshaw Goddard, Simmons & Simmons and Mishcon de Reya, offer a high degree of client contact and a much more intimate atmosphere than large law firms, and present fantastic opportunities for newly-qualified and trainee associates to gain exposure and work directly with well-established Partners. Smaller commercial firms London’s smaller commercial firms could be the right place for you if you are looking to relocate for better hours or are interested in real estate law. There are many of these firms throughout London, including Wedlake Bell, Memery Crystal and Russell-Cooke, but you may need to be willing to take a pay cut if you are moving from a larger London firm. Most of these smaller commercial firms are full-service law firms focusing on a broad range of practices, although some have built up a reputation within certain industries to specialise in one or two practice areas. Niche firms If you are looking to specialise in once niche practice area, there are also many law firms throughout the UK that can offer this. There are firms which specialise in areas including media, energy, insurance and intellectual property, and if you have experience in a certain industry a firm like this could be the best place for you. Some of the best niche firms in the UK include Vinson & Elkins (US), Clyde & Co and Bristows. Regional firms If you are looking for opportunities outside of London or have ties to a specific region within the UK and want to develop your legal career in that area, there are some fantastic regional firms including Burges Salmon, DAC Beachcroft and Ashfords, that could be right for you. Ranging from small offices to vast operations within their own right, regional firms don’t all fit the same mould, but they all offer a fantastic chance to venture beyond the capital. Although salaries across the board tend to be lower at regional firms in comparison to large London firms, living costs outside of London are also significantly cheaper. These firms are based around the UK and tend to focus on the needs of top regional clients, offering you the chance to become an important part of your local business community. National/multi-site firms Whether you want to work in London or outside the capital, you may choose to join a firm which has a strong UK-wide market recognition and presence in several major UK cities. National and multi-site firms perform large-ticket work and have massive operations based outside of London - for example, Eversheds Sutherland has nine branch offices across the UK and many more overseas. In this kind of firm, you will focus on more Commercial, Real Estate, Private Client and General Banking, and these national firms also offer a high degree of mobility and the chance to move across the country with the same firm. Small firms Solicitors choose to relocate to smaller, boutique law firms for various reasons. Although the work at these firms can be incredibly rewarding and involve daily client contact and a wide variety of cases, the salary at these small firms is typically the lowest. But, if your motivation behind practising law is to see how your work is affecting and helping individuals and the community in which you are practising in, and if you are looking for a very good work-life balance, relocating to a small law firm may be the right choice for you. For more information on this article, or to speak to our specialist legal recruiters about the next step in your legal career and which type of law firm is right for you, contact Tamara on 02072696368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk.

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UK vs. US Law Firms: The Big Debate

Posted by Tamara Salem

Each law firm, whether UK or US, has its own culture and way of working, and each individual firm comes with its pros and cons. However, there are general differences that you should consider when deciding whether to move from a UK to a US firm and vice versa. As an associate, your decision will ultimately come down to what type of person you are and what is important to you in your long-term legal career. Choosing your career path and deciding between a top UK or US law firm can seem daunting - our expert legal recruiters have put together some key information to help you make an informed decision. Salary Associates in US law firms have historically been paid much more than their counterparts in UK firms. The decision by New-York based Cravath Swaine & Moore to increase its first-year associate base salary to around £145k has been a ‘game-changer’, with White Shoe law firms increasingly paying ‘Cravath scale’ salaries as it has now become known in the market. In reality, no UK firm will ever be able to match the salaries offered by US firms and large UK law firms have done well to resist major NQ salary rises for this long, which has been primarily achieved by offering work-life balance and perks as opposed to simply cold cash. However, recent months have seen Freshfields followed by the other four Magic Circle law firms, as well as some Silver Circle firms, increase their salary for NQ lawyers to around £100k. So, while it is widely recognised that US law firms do pay more than their UK counterparts, the current UK legal market is also seeing considerable movement in terms of remuneration and benefits packages. Breadth of work If you want a role in an area that isn’t big-ticket transactional or mainstream litigation, you are looking in the wrong place with a US firm as there are some areas that US firms don’t tend to take as serious parts of practice. If you are looking to work in a relatively niche practice area, such as employment or intellectual property or private client, you are most likely to find a varied role that suits you within a UK law firm. However, for those lawyers who want to work on multi-million or billion-dollar/pound deals, US firms can provide this exposure which cannot be matched by most large UK law firms. Degree of responsibility To a degree, US firms can offer a greater degree of responsibility at an earlier stage in your career. This is partly because US firms tend to have a linear structure to their teams - instead of six associates as you may find in a UK firm, there may be only two or three. While it is important to mention that this is becoming less true of some firms, including Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins, this is the case for a significant number of US law firms. Due to the leaner structure of teams, you may find you have a greater degree of responsibility early on, which can be invaluable and an excellent catalyst for progressing your legal career. Progression Many people have the idea that US firms will push them up the ladder quicker. While this may be true in terms of initial responsibility and remuneration, it is also important to remember that as you move towards the senior end of your career where there is a huge demand placed on those aiming for Partnership, this ease of progression can skew in the other direction - potential Partners at US firms are expected to bring in more business than a UK centred firm. However, it is also true that fewer associates mean less competition for Partnership, a benefit of the structure of US law firms. In reality, the path to Partnership is tough at every firm, both UK and US, and depends heavily on your practice area and your individual team. Training and development While this very much depends on the firm, the team and the Partner, UK firms are ahead of most US firms when it comes to training for associates and have more resources available for development - associates at US law firms are not exposed to the same depth of training materials and advice as in large UK firms. US firms tend to focus on fee-earning and building a practice as many have been in London for a short period of time, whereas large UK firms have placed emphasis on training and development for decades, partly due to a larger number of Partners in UK law firms who can spend more time on associate development. However, US firms are self-aware in this regard and are making attempts to redress the imbalance. It seems that recently some of the more established US law firms in the London market are making roads to bridge this development gap and are placing more importance on associate training and development. Work-life balance Is it a generally agreed-upon view that UK law firms offer a better work-life balance. Typically you will work longer hours in US firms, most of whom expect a minimum of 2000 hours billed per year. In the practice areas typically covered by US firms, including corporate, banking and private equity, you will find yourself working longer hours which is due in part to the fewer number of associates per team. While, of course, it does depend on the individual firm, top-end UK city firms tend to offer employees better working hours and work-life balance. International opportunities and access to the US market Bigger deals tend to be in the US legal market, New-York in particular. New York is the largest financial and legal centre in the world, and therefore the value and profile of work that top US firms are able to attract can surpass what large UK firms are often doing in London and elsewhere in Europe. If you are looking for access to premium deals or international cross-border work, or even opportunities for international secondments in the States, working at a US firm might be the right choice for you. Office priority and power base One final thing to consider about working in a smaller London office of a big US firm is the office’s power base. Working for a US firm, you would need to be aware of how loud a voice the UK has in the wider firm as a whole entity. It is important to understand that the firm’s strategy will most likely come from overseas and may not take into account the idiosyncrasies of the London market, which could be perceived as a negative of working in the UK office of a large US law firm. On the other hand, if you work for a large UK law firm - a Magic Circle or Silver Circle firm for example - London is the centre of operations and the firm’s vision and strategy is formulated with the London market at the forefront. Of course, there will always be an element of internal politics - as in any law firm - but going into a UK law firm you can be sure that policy is being written by people in the UK legal market. Your choice of law firm must ultimately come down to what is important to you in your long-term legal career. If you are looking for a higher salary, early opportunities for responsibility and progression and international opportunities, a role at US law firm may be the right choice firm for you. Or if your priorities lie with a good variety of work, training and development and a better work-life balance, you may want to consider working for a top UK firm. For more information about this article or to discuss current opportunities in both UK and US law firms, contact Tamara on 020 7269 6368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk.

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July 2019: Legal Movers and Shakers

Posted by Tamara Salem

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in July 2019: Adrian Lawrence- project finance partner has joined White & Case from Ashurst: Ashurst has appointed Adrian Lawrence as a partner in its project finance team in London. Lawrence joins from White & Case where he worked for more than ten years in its energy, infrastructure, project and asset finance practice across its London, Moscow, Doha, Hong Kong and Beijing offices. He has extensive experience in project finance, banking, corporate and capital markets transactions, with a focus on oil and gas and petrochemical projects. He has advised in some of the world’s largest and most complex multi-sourced project financing across a range of jurisdictions in Sub-Sahara Africa, the Middle East and beyond, including financings involving all of the ECAs. Ashley Hill – Tax, Trust and Estate specialist has joined Irwin Mitchell from BDO (we placed him): Irwin Mitchell has appointed Ashley Hill as a partner in its London tax, trusts and estates team. Tax accountant Hill joins from BDO, where he spent 12 years as a tax principal. Prior to this, he spent time with Ernst & Young (EY) and KPMG. He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Hill specialises in the taxation of high-net-worth individuals with complex and varied affairs often across multiple jurisdictions. He advises on international and offshore tax issues for high-net-worth individuals, their structures and businesses both in and outside the UK, with tax compliance and reporting being an important aspect of this advice. Gavin Weir – Corporate Partner has joined Akin Gump from White & Case: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced that Gavin Weir will join the firm as a partner in its London office. Weir will join from White & Case, where he has served as co-leader of its financial institutions M&A group. He is expected to join Akin Gump later this Summer. Weir has significant experience in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, with a particular emphasis on complex, high-end corporate transactions focused on financial institutions (including investment funds), technology and life sciences. He advises on international and domestic mergers and acquisitions, public and private takeovers, auctions, reorganisations, joint ventures, corporate governance, and other corporate transactions. Weir is qualified to practice in England and Wales. Andrew Harris – Private Equity and Corporate Partner has joined Vedder Price from Arnold & Porter: Vedder Price has welcomed Andrew Harris as a partner in the firm’s finance and transactions group in London. Harris is also appointed as the European head of private equity and corporate. He joins from Arnold & Porter and has also worked as London managing partner and head of private equity and corporate at Kaye Scholer LLP before its mergers with Arnold & Porter. He focuses on private equity and private merger and acquisition transactions. He has experience in share and asset purchases, disposals/exits, management buy-outs, management buy-ins, buy and builds, joint ventures and restructurings. He acts for private equity firms, entrepreneurs and highnet-worth individuals, as well as portfolio companies and management teams. Mark Aspinall and Paul Sinnott – Energy Sector Partners who have both joined Hill Dickinson from Eversheds Sutherland: Energy sector lawyers Mark Aspinall and Paul Sinnott have joined the commodities team at Hill Dickinson in London as partners from Eversheds Sutherland. Aspinall specialises in the midstream (processing)/downstream (trading) oil sector and associated tanker markets (crude, products and chemicals). His practice is focused on dispute resolution and transactional matters covering trade finance, physical sales, and storage, contracts of carriage by sea, processing/throughput agreements, related joint ventures, SPAs and SHAs. Sinnott focuses on transactional and regulatory matters, as well as all forms and stages of dispute resolution. He acts largely for energy and metals industry client which trade, finance, hedge of transport commodities. Laura Nyman – Real Estate Disputes Partner has joined Seddons from Howard Kennedy: Seddons has appointed Lara Nyman as a property disputes partner. She joins from Howard Kennedy, where she spent five years as a partner. Nyman specialises in providing advice, including risk analysis and strategy, to landlords and tenants as well as developers, investors and other property professionals. For more information about this article, or to speak to Tamara about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk. Back to Legal Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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June 2019: Legal Movers and Shakers

Posted by Tamara Salem

Stay up-to-date with the movers and shakers in the legal sector. Here are the key movements in June 2019: Corporate Partner Gavin Weir is leaving White & Case to join Akin Gump. This is a rare loss to White & Case’s corporate team and is a clear sign Akin Gump are continuing to expand their London office. Four Partners have left Taylor Wessing to join Goodwin Procter in their drive to expand their life sciences offering in London. Goodwin are strong within life sciences in the US and are clearly focusing on building this capability and strength in London. All four Partners, David Mardle, Tim Worden, Adrian Rainey and Malcom Bates, advise clients in the life sciences and technology sectors. Corporate Finance Partner, Warran Allan is leaving Stephenson Harwood to join US firm Proskauer Rose. Allan previously worked at King & Wood Mallesons before the collapse and the move to Proskauer will reunite him with former colleagues. Sidley Austin has added to its fund department with the hire of Mateja Maher, an ex-Kirkland & Ellis Partner. Maher moved in-house to the private equity advisory firm, Campbell Lutyens four years ago and will now reunite with many of his former colleagues at Sidley. For more information about this article, or to speak to Tamara about your recruiting needs or Legal jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk. Back to Legal Movers & Shakers Archive >>

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What Does Freshfields' £100k NQ Salary Mean For The Legal Profession?

Posted by Tamara Salem

May 2019 saw Magic Circle law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer increase its salary for newly qualified lawyers (NQs) to £100k plus a discretionary bonus, which was largely fuelled by competition from large US firms. Large UK law firms have done well to resist major NQ salary rises for this long, which has primarily been achieved by offering work-life balance and perks as opposed to simply cold cash. However, the 18% increase in pay for NQ lawyers at Freshfields means their salary is now more than double the pay received by their counterparts at investment banks, and this has been fuelled by aggressive competition from large US law firms, including Milbank and Cravath, which last year started paying their NQ lawyers £145k. Freshfields announced in a statement: ‘Our pay offering is a critical part of our talent strategy and reflects our continued commitment to attracting and retaining the very best talent in the legal market. We regularly review our compensation and benefits across the firm with this in mind’. But what does this mean for the legal profession going forward? This move by Freshfields inevitably put pressure on the other four Magic Circle law firms to follow suit to maintain their elite status among future lawyers. Clifford Chance increased their salary for new lawyers at the beginning of June, followed by Slaughter & May, then Allen & Overy and most recently Linklaters. Although it is also worth noting that both Clifford Chance and Slaughters include bonuses in their £100k pay whilst Freshfields are offering discretionary bonuses on top of the increased salary, leaving Freshfields out in front. This move by Freshfields will not only affect those firms in the Magic Circle. Silver Circle firms, such as Travers Smith and Macfarlanes, who offer the strongest competition to Magic Circle firms for hotshot law students will also be forced to increase salaries for NQ lawyers if they want to remain in the competition. This is already apparent, with Macfarlanes boosting it's NQ remuneration package to range from £98,600 to £110,250. This will then be followed by global megafirms, and firms below them and so on. This move may also affect UK corporate law - paying like US firms inevitably means working like US firms. Large US firms have less junior associates per Partner which results in longer working hours, and London headquartered firms will have little choice but to move towards a working model similar to that of US firms if they want to maintain profitability. It is perhaps fair to say that the US business culture does not fully translate culturally to the UK, which means that UK law firms will be looking for ways to increase efficiency. The UK is arguably ahead of the US in terms of driving more efficiencies with lawtech, and recent years have seen major law firms investing in technology that’s beginning to yield results in the British legal market. Aside from lawtech, north-shoring is likely to rise as it is cheaper to employ people outside of London due to London housing and renting prices. This is all worth considering when deciding on your legal career path once you qualify as a lawyer. With this salary increase, competition among top UK law firms will be even fiercer. There are plenty of options for you as a newly-qualified lawyer and with the current legal market seeing considerable movement in terms of remuneration and benefits packages, speaking to one of our specialist legal recruiters can help you make the decision that’s best for your future career. For more information on this article, or advice on the current legal market and opportunities available, contact Tamara on 020 7269 6368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk.

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What Options are Available to You as a Newly Qualified Lawyer?

Posted by Tamara Salem

The decisions you make in the lead up to completing your training contract to qualify as a lawyer and the steps you take in the run-up to qualification will determine your future career path. So, what options are available to you as a newly qualified lawyer? Many newly qualified lawyers (NQs) will decide to stay with and progress within their current firm, but the internal process may take a long time to complete and may not have roles open in the area you wish to qualify in to. In the meantime, it’s important to keep your options open and make decisions that reflect your desired long-term career path. Our specialist legal recruiters have put together advice to help you make an informed decision! Firms When deciding where to accept a role for when you qualify, you can choose between different-sized law firms, an in-house role, overseas or perhaps a position within a government body. When it comes to law firms, there are many options for you to choose from. In terms of the UK legal market, your main decision will be choosing between joining a US law firm, a Magic Circle or Silver Circle firm, a leading international firm or a smaller West End firm, and timing can mean everything when it comes to applying for roles for a newly qualified lawyer. In regards to salary, US firms sit at the top of the legal market but they are newer to the London market so typically, these firms tend to have smaller trainee pools. This means that when it comes to hiring NQs, they often need to look externally. US firms will typically begin to hire first in the London legal market, with most US firms currently interviewing and some have already offered jobs to their next pool of NQs - their search start date gets earlier every year, so it’s important to get advice from recruiters as soon as possible if you are looking to work for a US firm! On the other hand, large UK firms like those in the Magic Circle, Silver Circle and leading international firms have bigger internal trainee pools and they tend to prioritise retaining their own trainees once they qualify, understandably as they have already invested time into training and developing them as rounded legal professionals. It is around June that the internal recruitment processes come to an end within large UK and international law firms and it is often at this point that these firms begin to look externally for NQs. There is a similar timeline for smaller West End firms, who generally start their hiring process and seek out NQs around June and July. The better the market conditions, the earlier you can look, but as a general rule, it is always best to start looking earlier rather than later to ensure you don’t miss the boat. We would suggest that September-qualified candidates should start looking for roles around May, and March-qualified candidates from November. There are benefits to each of these types of firm. If you are looking for a smaller team feel with a higher level of client contact, a US firm might be a good fit for you, whilst firms in the Magic Circle have great training and development programmes in place. Ultimately, it comes down to what you are looking for from your career. Practice area When deciding on a practice area to pursue, it’s important to choose what you enjoy most! Always consider the long-term and your career goals, and have a back-up practice area that you would also be interested in working in. There are particularly busy practice areas, usually transactional areas, so if this is well-suited to you, consider looking for roles in areas such as Corporate, Banking, Funds or Tax. Some areas have very few external roles for NQs to move into. These are generally the most popular areas for people to qualify into, including Disputes and Intellectual Property, and these are typically filled by the firm’s internal trainees meaning that practices within these areas very rarely need to look externally for NQs. Carry out research to find out which firms have the best reputation in your preferred practice area and take advantage of the expert market knowledge from recruiters here at Pro-Legal! Ideally, you will land yourself a position at a market-leading firm within your chosen practice area, however, don’t be disheartened if you don’t right away - it may be that you need to gain skills and experience and work towards the firm you want to end up in. It's not impossible to change specialisms down the line, but most lawyers will develop and progress within the practice area they qualify into. There a number of factors to consider when deciding on a practice area to specialise in, but the most important thing is to make sure you enjoy the work and can see yourself progressing within this practice area. There are so many options available to NQs, and the decision you make running up to qualification will shape your future as a lawyer. We work with many leading US, Magic Circle, international and West End firms, and have placed many NQs into roles in a variety of firms and practice areas. Speak to one of our specialist legal consultants for a confidential discussion to help you make an informed decision that’s right for you at this critical stage of your career. For more information on this article, or advice on the current legal market and the prospects available to you as a newly qualified lawyer, contact Tamara on 020 7269 6368 or tamara.salem@pro-legal.co.uk.

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