Legal Recruitment 101: When & why to talk to a legal recruiter as an NQ solicitor

In today’s blog post – part of a series of articles offering practical advice for newly qualified solicitors – we discuss the benefits of using a legal recruiter to find your first NQ role.

So, what are our top reasons for speaking to a legal recruitment professional?

It’s faster and more effective than looking for legal jobs by yourself

Law firms all work differently. They have their own idiosyncrasies, their own internal processes, and their own preferred ways of getting things done – and it’s the same when they recruit new staff.

In purely practical terms, this means a recruitment consultancy like Florit Brooke will get candidates to clients faster and more effectively than they could manage themselves. The strong relationships we’ve built with our clients over the years mean we’re well-versed in their differences; using this knowledge we can help candidates pick the best times to make their applications, and the best experience to put at the forefront of their legal CVs.

You’ll get access to opportunities that others can’t see

Hunting for NQ solicitor opportunities can be a time-consuming process however you choose to go about it. Whether you’re scouring the internet for opportunities, approaching firms directly or keeping your ear to the ground for the latest industry gossip, finding openings can be a tedious and long-winded process.

So, what if we told you that many great NQ solicitor roles are never actually advertised through the mainstream channels?

Very often, and at all levels, legal recruiters are instructed on opportunities which actually never get circulated in the open market, and which you might otherwise remain unaware of. Our relationships with clients are built on trust, and the confidence that we can help them find the perfect candidate more quickly and easily than waiting for it to happen organically, which means that we’re often given exclusive access to their legal job vacancies. To get the full picture of the roles on offer, don’t spend hours sifting through an incomplete list of opportunities – see what a legal recruitment professional can offer you instead.

There’s plenty of value added

“So a legal recruitment specialist can help me find fantastic opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise know existed. Is that all?” you may still be saying (for some reason).

No, that’s not all. Legal recruiters aren’t interested in simply pairing up legal professionals with current job openings; they’re keen to see the recruitment process through from start to finish and facilitate an ideal outcome for everyone involved. This means you’ll get a lot more than just a list of current legal job opportunities: at Florit Brooke we offer an extensive range of supplementary services for newly qualified solicitors and trainees including legal career coaching, CV writing support, job interview preparation, and advice on how to optimise your training contract to meet your career goals. There’s much more to successful recruitment than just looking at jobs.

You’re tapping into years of expertise

Here’s a figure for you: the Brooke Thornham team’s combined recruitment experience totals more than 60 years. Besides giving away more than we’d like it to about our ages, it also gives you an idea of the amount of specialist knowledge we have between us, and how many candidates we’ve successfully placed into their first NQ solicitor roles.

We’ve been in the legal recruitment business long enough to have built strong, enduring relationships with an extensive range of clients, and to have secured a reputation as a bunch of knowledgeable, trustworthy experts in our field. Once a job application has been made through Brooke Thornham, clients often ask us for our opinions on candidates, since we know what qualities are important to them, and we frequently influence their choice of which candidates to shortlist for interview. Our knowledge and experience can give our candidates that extra push towards their ideal role.


I’m a trainee solicitor. When should I start talking to a legal recruiter?

It’s difficult to give a definitive answer to this question as it will depend on the market conditions when you qualify – and the more competitive the legal landscape, the earlier you’ll need to start.

Generally, the market for NQ solicitors is busiest around April and May: this is when trainees who will qualify between August and October tend to have submitted their NQ job applications. However, we certainly wouldn’t recommend leaving it until then to consider your recruitment options: there’s nothing worse than hearing that your perfect job has been released when you’re still in no position to apply for it. Additionally, it’s important to remember that, once you’ve established a relationship with a recruiter, it can take another couple of months before the interviews start rolling in: you’ll want to allow plenty of time to establish the kind of roles you’re after, assess the competition, seek advice on the specifics of the NQ job hunt, and amend your CV if you need to.

To get a head start, it’s best to speak to a recruiter early: we’d recommend getting in touch early in the year (yes – now!) to discuss your needs.

For more specific information about the 2019 NQ solicitors’ job market, take a look at our FREE NQ Resource Hub. There’s lots of advice in there for you to read or download. And for tailored one-to-one advice, contact us today.

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