Whether you’re a recent law graduate or are currently working through a sponsored training scheme, knowing the difference between the law firms you’re applying for is of paramount importance.
If you are thinking about law as a career option this might be interesting to you too. According to the Guardian, “Most UK firms fit into the following few broad categories: high street (smaller firms serving a predominantly private client base); regional/national (larger multi-office firms serving a city or counties, often with a London office); City (based in the City of London, with a strong brand and international presence); and niche firms (which focus on a specialist area of law)”
The difficulty comes with deciding which size and type of firm would best suit you and your strengths, Here are the things you need to consider before applying for a training contract.
1. The type of clients
Working in law, the wants of your clients will determine the work you do as well as the kind of lawyer you’ll become. You’ll be in constant contact with these people so make sure you’re working for a firm that serves the kind of people you want to serve. Do you want to deal with clients personally or other email exclusively? The firm you choose will determine this.
2. The size of the firm
The size of a law firm tends to factor into the working hours and office culture. Jumping straight into a high salary job with a City firm might feel impressive but the likelihood of you being able to forge your own path and steer your own ideas is minimal.
3. Will you fit in with the culture?
This one isn’t exclusive to law but is still worth considering. Every office has a particular ‘culture’ which affects the client base, the seriousness of competition, the importance of training as well as a hundred other things. They all have their own personality so take the time to get to know them before you apply.
4. Is there room to network further?
If you’re working regionally, don’t expect yourself to be jet-setting to conferences across the globe. The size and reach of your firm will determine the potential of further networking. It helps if your firm deals with assets based in other countries. If you’re going to be pulling silly hours anyway, you may as well see the world while you’re at it.