A perfect marriage?

Most people find their life partner in a social setting or through work. Others set about finding the perfect mate through dating agencies or online.

However you go about it, when you finally meet that special person it may be love at first sight or it may simply be a case of being consumed by lust. If you’re lucky enough to have those feelings reciprocated then the adventure begins, but how long will it last?

A potential partner is often so alluring that the smitten person is blind to any character defects, will commit themselves emotionally and then realise later on that they’ve made the wrong choice.

“Now, just hold on a second here, Mark” I hear you all say, “What the hell has all this got to do with my future law career?”

It has a lot to do with your future legal career, so listen up because I’m supposed to be preparing for an intellectual property exam here but instead I’m writing this down for your benefit, OK?

I got a job recently. I was really pleased about it because it meant that I could fund my way through the remainder of my part-time LPC. It’s even in a law-related area (personal injury). When I saw the job advertised I wanted it. It looked perfect. I imagined all the experience I would gain and how it would help my fledgling law career. I visualised all the useful contacts I would make. In short I imagined something quite wonderful.

The reality, of course, was that as soon as I was in, I wanted to get out. However in the greater scheme of things, it’s no big deal. I will leave at some point to start a training contract.

Which brings me to the point (eventually). Legal recruiters take a huge risk in choosing the right trainees, no matter how rigorous their recruitment process, they can never be sure that the huge investment in time and training will pay off for every trainee producing for them a solicitor who will enhance their firm.

There are many people I know on the LPC who are applying to all and sundry in the hope that someone, somewhere will give them a training contract. Is this wise? Apart from the fact that it’s very difficult to convince a firm that you really want to train and work with them when you’ve applied to another 100 firms. What applicants should also consider is just how galling would it be to land a training contract, only to hate the firm, hate the seats in which they work and find that the work life balance is all wrong.

Some people say “well at least it will get you qualified.” Certainly there is merit in that argument but are you doing the firm or yourself any favours in the long run?

I would argue that it is wiser to do your research and decide on a shortlist of five or six firms that you can really see yourself fitting into. If you do you will also find that you’re more likely to get an interview in the first place.

Finally, a little plug. As a student representative on the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society I will be helping out at the LPC Forum at the Law Society this weekend, Saturday 16 April. If you really want to know how to get that perfect training contract and forge a marriage made in heaven and not one that ends in messy divorce then visit: