- How to attract graduates
How to hire graduates
- Account Management Roles
- Admin & HR Roles
- Analysis & Research Roles
- Banking & Finance Roles
- Business Development Roles
- Consulting Roles
- Content & Social Media Roles
- Customer Service Roles
- Design Roles
- Legal Roles
- Marketing Roles
- Operations Roles
- Public Relations (PR) Roles
- Sales Roles
- Software Development Roles
- Tutoring Roles
- The selection process
- How to retain graduates
- Employee Management
How to hire a graduate for a Legal role
A quick thinking, motivated and sharp individual with good commercial awareness who is a great communicator. They should be a quick learner, discreet and know how to remain calm under pressure. An ideal candidate will be a strong-minded and analytical individual with great attention to detail. A person with a competitive drive and excellent time management skills who is comfortable taking responsibility for their own work will thrive in a legal environment.
A candidate looking to pursue their law career at a smaller company will either have studied Law at university or done an internship at a top law firm but decided they don’t want to go down the traditional route and apply for a training contract.
Typically the candidate will have done a Humanities or Law degree with a strong result achieving as a minimum a 2:1 or alternatively, may have completed a law conversion course (GDL - graduate diploma in law).
- Written & verbal communication: talking to clients clearly and calmly, even about sensitive situations, is a core skill of anyone in the legal profession.
- Attention to detail: small mistakes can have big impacts, and clients are relying on their legal team to get things right!
- Time management: in a role like this there are lots of projects on the go at any one time and deadlines are strict.
- Research & analytical: a successful legal employee is used to handling documents and finding information.
- Problem solving: complex cases and tricky clients require a quick thinker.
- Any experience which has required the candidate to hone their communication skills e.g. working with or learning a foreign language, writing for a university newspaper, volunteer work, being a member of a sports team or a debating society.
- If the candidate balanced extra-curricular activities with a strong academic record at university this indicates that they have good time management skills.
- Any experience in the legal industry would certainly be beneficial.
- Experience where the candidate has had to use their research or analytical skills is also a plus.
- Any experience such as a customer service or sales support roles that has required the candidate to work to deadlines, and to manage and deal with clients in a professional capacity.
- Someone who has taken the time to research your company and is aware of current current business developments in your industry.
- Someone who is confident and has good communication and persuasive skills.
- Spelling and grammar mistakes in their application - this shows a lack of attention to detail.
- Someone who has difficulty being flexible, both with time and approaches to tasks.
- Someone who has little experience of meeting and working on multiple deadlines, and has little experience to demonstrate that they have good time management skills.
- Ask them about a time that they had to build a rapport with a difficult person or a time they had to deal with a personality conflict with a colleague or classmate - this will give a good insight into their people skills.
- You could set them a short task to carry out during the interview to see how well they do under time pressure - this could be something simple like proofreading a document or anything similar that relates to the kind of work they will be doing.
- It may be beneficial to see how a prospective candidate responds to new material to get a grasp on how they think and the way in which they approach tasks. This also tests their ability to think on their feet- something pretty crucial to a legal role.
The role available and type of company (i.e. what type of Law your company focuses upon) will all affect an employee’s expectations of the role. In entry-level roles or trainee positions, firms seems to have competitive rates despite there being a low minimum wage of £12,000 for a barrister role and no minimum salary for trainee solicitors. The starting salaries can be in the range £25,000-£40,000. A candidate with the requisite qualifications may expect a slightly larger salary. Candidates may also expect a large variety of opportunity to give them a wide range of experience. Be upfront with the candidate about your expectations for them, hours they may have to work, and what their work will entail.