diversity

Diversity (or lack thereof) in the Legal Sector…

So today I want to talk about diversity – and more specifically the lack of it within the legal industry. This is something I feel strongly about – maybe because I’m a woman, maybe because my name is Houdah Al-Hakim, maybe because my partner is black – there are many reasons but I thought I would say my piece. Not only have I been personally affected but every day I speak to candidates who have become at some stage in their career a victim to the system. I would go so far as to suggest many people do not even realise when they enter the legal profession that they are going to have to fight much harder than their counterparts to reach the top. Continue reading…

election

Interim staff crucial in the UK labour market after the latest election shock? We think so!

I think it would be fair to say the last fortnight in UK politics has been unpredictable. On election night, most commentators were shocked and excited in equal measure as the constituencies declared their results, all trying to decide what these results meant in terms of the overall political map, Government, economy and Brexit. A week later and after time to reflect, the question is …. what will this result mean for the UK labour market? Continue reading…

Interim Market

The Changing Interim Market – how to secure the best people for your law firm

Since joining Chadwick Nott’s interim team in 2014 I have witnessed so much change within the interim market. There has been the conveyancing boom and of course the effects of our regularly changing economic world – we have had Brexit, Trump election and imminently the UK general election, all affecting the markets and at times giving a sense of uncertainty. Alongside the economic factors, a range of lifestyle factors have come into force. A surprising number of full-time employed lawyers have become very open to interim positions including senior lawyers undertaking consultant roles to a number of law firms. Then we also have so many law firms introducing flexible working models. Continue reading…

Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships – Earn while you learn

University seems like a very distant memory to me. I left 12 years ago and have been working now as a recruiter for 10 years. Whilst the memories may have faded, a constant reminder of the good old days lives on in my monthly pay slip in the form of the Student Loan Contribution. I was sent my yearly statement recently and was absolutely astonished at the figure I still owed. Paying off student debts seems never ending! As a frivolous student, living life to the full, I was aware that I would be saddled with some debt, it’s inescapable, but I didn’t think for a second I would still be paying this off as I approach 40. The optimist in me will say, well at least I went to university back in the days when fees had recently been introduced and were considerably lower that the fees today’s students face. Looking at course fees now it sends shudders through me. It’s a huge commitment to go to university these days and I wonder if I would have signed up as readily today as I did in 2001? To have a career in law, the path seemed straightforward, A-levels, degree, post graduate course and then training contract. I didn’t give any consideration to any alternatives means to the same end – in truth I didn’t even know there were alternative ways of qualifying as a lawyer. Continue reading…

solicitor exam

The Solicitors Super Exam

So, it’s finally happened. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have confirmed that as of 2020, there will be a so-called ‘Super Exam’ as an entry to the legal profession and to qualify as a solicitor. This will be aptly known as the ‘Solicitors Qualification Exam’ (SQE). So first and foremost, what does this mean? Continue reading…

Women Literature

Pride & Prejudice & Partnership

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an associate solicitor, possessed of a good following, must be in want of partnership. Continue reading…

David Bowie

A cha-cha-cha-changing era – a look at the expanding consultancy market with the help of my hero David Bowie!

I for one sighed with relief when 2016 finally ‘did one’. In a year of uncertainty and of ‘Heroes’ and villains, last year seemed largely without humour. We lost some of ‘The Supermen’ (and women) of the world and here I pay a self-indulgent tribute to one ‘Starman’ in particular following the anniversary of his death last year. For me, David Bowie epitomised agility and adaptability within the music world. He also has enough song titles in his back catalogue for me to squeeze in a fair number, whilst reflecting on law firms’ ability to adapt to ‘Time’ and circumstance as Bowie did in his career.

Stop reading now ….. if you’re not prepared for a bit of creative word play here. I admit to being a huge Bowie fan but recognise that not everyone is. If this blog doesn’t work, I could soon be looking for a ‘New Career in a New Town’…..! Continue reading…

Forrest Gump

2016? Like a box of chocolates…

In 1994, Forrest Gump famously announced to the world “Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” With all due respect to Mrs. Gump, I always thought she was being a little extreme. Until this year.

There is no doubt, 2016 has been nothing if not full of surprises. Continue reading…

Gig

“Off to a Gig”

A recent survey conducted by Vario concluded that the main reason for lawyers choosing freelance/ interim roles is the variety of legal work they offer. Whilst I believe this to be true, it got me thinking about the changing ways in which we work. In my 13 years in recruitment (most of this supplying legal staff), I have seen good and bad economies, innovations in technology and changing work patterns. Related to this last point I’ve recently been hearing a lot about the “Gig Economy”. Continue reading…

Turn and face the strain ch-ch changes

The 20th century philosopher, Alan Watts, said “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance” and in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis, I think it’s fair to say that most law firms have been alive to this necessity. Continue reading…