in Careers Advice, Legal Profession, Relocation, Training Contracts, Pupillage and Work Experience

Ask a Recruitment Consultant – questions to our Chatbot

Ask a Recruitment Consultant – questions this month on our chat bot

Questions sent to us via our new Chat service online, together with general career questions emailed across. We do our best to answer all queries, sometimes after a fairly lengthy delay if we are busy!

Do you think it is still worth becoming an accredited police station representative or is work drying out?

This is a difficult question. We have probably received the grand total of 2 police station rep vacancies into our company in the past 5 years, although at one point many years ago we were getting 2 a week. This is not a sustainable area of law to be going into and it takes a certain degree of insanity or a high level of public service to even contemplate practising criminal law as a solicitor or a police station rep. Work is uncertain, pay is uncertain; the future is uncertain…

I’m an Australian law graduate – what are my chances of getting work?

Fairly good if you look in the right places. You need to be dealing with the larger London legal recruitment agencies like Michael Page or Hays. Our company (TP Legal Recruitment) tends not to get vacancies for paralegals or interns with the larger London Magic Circle law firms and these seem to be the place that most Australian lawyers and graduates end up. You may need to forget about earning money initially and focus on getting work experience. This may cost you money in the short term but will probably be beneficial in the longer term at establishing your legal career… Not sure you should spend any money on courses etc.. until you have done some work experience, although it is an option.

Can you help overseas lawyers find work in the UK?

No. Virtually impossible – law firms pay agencies to get them staff with particular expertise. Overseas lawyers tend not to have this expertise and hence we don’t get paid to find them. If we don’t get paid to find them we don’t help them. Capitalism at its best I am afraid..

I want to transfer my training contract mid-way through. I need wider experience than the criminal law my current firm offers.

Wonderful. So you have started a training contract with a crime firm and then decided you don’t want to do it? Not really the way to get your legal career up and running! Perfectly possible to find another law firm, but not through agencies I am afraid. You will need to approach firms directly. Be very careful – there is an article on our website about my own experience 20 years ago when attempting to transfer a training contract and my existing firm finding out.

Can you help a South African Qualified Attorney find a legal position in the UK?

No. Afraid not – see above re overseas lawyers. Once you have UK experience we would be delighted to assist, but until then unfortunately not..

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at