Are you a lawyer who had decided to start looking for a job this past January or February? You are probably wondering at this point, whether it is worth it to keep looking, or not take any risks and remain where you are until things blow over. We have seen a lot of lawyers in your situation who had started the processes of looking for a new role who, in the past months of uncertainty, have had to choose whether to consider the search or hold down the fort where they are.
The first thing you might be asking yourself when making the decision to continue your job hunt is “ are firms even still hiring?”. While some firms have halted recruitment for new roles, some firms are still hiring, especially for “essential recruitment” or in areas of law such as Construction, Insurance / Personal Injury, Employment, and Family Law. Partners with a client following in most areas are still happily being considered by top end boutique and mid-tier law firms which are being strategic. We are also still seeing some in house legal roles come through.
Another thought you might have is “what if I accept a new role and the employer pulls out at the last minute?”. While we have seen very few cases where an offer to a legal secretary has been pulled after the candidate has already resigned from their former position, we are certainly not seeing it happen for any lawyers. At this point, law firms aren’t looking to create new positions to be filled or trying to hire candidates when they don’t really have a need. Firms are only hiring for positions that they genuinely need filled, either because someone left the position, or because of an influx of work. This means that they are committed to getting the vacancy filled and won’t decide last minute that they cannot afford to fill the role. So, a new role today will very possibly be the most secure place in which any lawyer can be employed.
You might be wondering what some positives about looking for a role in this job market are. For starters, a lot of people are making the decision to stay in their roles, so there are fewer candidates (especially at the more senior levels) looking. This means the roles are yours to lose! If there aren’t any roles available that suite you, and you aren’t in a huge rush to move, it could still be a great time to get the ball rolling and make some introductions. Let firms know who you are and that you have an interest in working with them in a few months once they have a vacancy. Many firms are considering, or have already decided to make salary cuts and hold off salary reviews for a year. By finding a new role, you may be able to avoid a loss in salary, and even get a pay raise that you would not have gotten come this July.
Regardless of what you decide to do, now is a great time to reflect on your job and career. For more advice on the market, salary advice, or any other recruitment questions, contact one of our consultants at Burgess Paluch Legal Recruitment.