Personal update

This post was originally featured on North of the Stupid Line, and has been amended to suit Deaf Blawg.

You will be interested to know that I am just under 4 weeks away from qualifying as a solicitor. For the past 4 months, I have been on secondment from the Royal Association for Deaf People to Hugh James Solicitors in Cardiff, completing an Employment seat. I am due to qualify on 27 May 2007, with the aim of becoming an Employment Solicitor.

Thus, I am looking for a Newly Qualified position as an Employment Solicitor/Lawyer in the Cardiff and Bristol area, and would be prepared to commute as far as Swansea, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Bath.

I don’t like the way they recruit solicitors. Most law firms recruit using recruitment agencies, and there are literally hundreds of them specialising in legal recruitment. Advertisements are usually anonymous, so you don’t know which firms you’re applying to. If a law firm is advertising through multiple agencies, you don’t know whether you’re applying for the same position in the same firm.

When a seemingly new position that I’m interested in pops up in my searches, I apply, and then I hear nothing. Communication is non-existent. If I apply for a job through a recruitment agency that I haven’t had contact with before, they usually ring me up the next day enthusiastic about my potential, get a few details and send me a letter in the post asking for a copy of my passport for ID purposes. I do as requested, and then hear nothing from them.

There are a number of positions I am particularly keen on, but I don’t hear anything, and as I don’t know the name of the firm, I can’t contact them to check whether they’ve received my application. How do we really know that the recruiters are actually submitting our CVs? It scares me to think that I could be missing out on opportunities.

To be honest, I’m quite disappointed with how the job search is going. I was confident that it would be easier to get a job as a Newly Qualified than it was to get a training contract, but it seems I may have been wrong. I put down my lack of success to the following:

  • The market for Newly Qualified Employment Solicitors is quite quiet in the South West and Wales region at the moment;
  • My CV is too eclectic, as I’m employed by RAD but seconded to South West London Law Centres, and sub-seconded to Hugh James Solicitors;
  • Lack of experience in private practice – however, I will have had five months’ experience when I qualify;
  • I’m Deaf – is this same old adage still a barrier?

I really don’t know how to handle this. I guess I’ve just got to plow ahead and hope that my luck will come in one day soon.