Trainees to start as receptionists in unorthodox recruitment move

A Greater London firm is offering training contracts to graduates willing to start as receptionists in its offices.

Seven-partner conveyancing firm Tinklin Springhall, based in Bromley and Beckenham, is advertising for two new trainees, who will start work as receptionists, before graduating to year-long paralegal positions, which precede a two-year training contract.

The receptionist element of the recruitment process is unorthodox, although increasing numbers of firms choose to recruit their trainees solely from their paralegal pool; Clarke Willmott being one such example (23 November 2012).

The advert, below, states that the firm is searching for “two bright, enthusiastic and organised people to join Tinklin Springhall in 2014 as a receptionist with a view to becoming a fee-earning paralegal in 2015, which we hope would then lead onto a training contract following 12 months as a paralegal.”

The advert also states that although previous work experience is not essential, it does expect applicants to have completed the Legal Practice Course.


Partner Ian Springhall said: “We find that if [recruits] are straight out of university it takes them time to pick up how the office works, so this is a way that they can do this, some client contact without any responsibility so when they move up and start their training they are already up to speed and have also gained some good client skills. 

“I find dealing with it in this way means we turn out some very good trainees.  In fact I would say the quality of our people during their training contract to be higher than the newly-qualified solicitors that I come across elsewhere. 

“When we have taken on newly-qualified in the past it has taken a year of training to get them up to an equivalent standard of one of our trainees.”