The world of work has changed… not so much!

Much of what I have read in the last few weeks suggests seismic changes to working practices post pandemic. It is something that concerns me because it has the potential to be particularly impactful for our Trainees and their ongoing development. We, like our clients, have worked hard to ensure business can continue through the use of remote working, but I am sure I am not alone in thinking that working from home or distance learning could not entirely replace the benefits of in person training, mentoring and working together in an office.

Whilst I think there may be some obvious changes to office working practices in the short-term, once the pandemic passes it is my hope we can all return to our normal working practices as soon as possible with of course some adjustments through lessons learnt. 

How does this affect our lawyers of the future?

It certainly got me thinking about our current group of Trainees and particularly those qualifying during this period.

There is no doubt that job opportunities have been affected across the board, the number of advertised roles on major job portals decreased by as much as 80% over the last two months. It remains to be seen how this will impact our newly qualified solicitors and we are doing everything we can to support them during this challenging time, including how our new offering via Accuflex can help in delivering more opportunities and flexibility post qualification to our current and past trainees as well as our clients.

Shortly before COVID-19 we’re really proud that some of our trainees accepted roles at top corporate law firms on qualification. This is a fantastic achievement for these Accutrainee Alumni who targeted working for such firms as one of their mid-term career goals. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to communicate with some of them during and after their successful job search. The insight I gained from being part of that process is valuable and helps to inform me of the things we are doing well, as well as areas we can support future newly qualified solicitors.

As a follow up to the original video we put out on our new Linkedin life page of Ali discussing why he chose to join Accutrainee, I am pleased that he agreed to do a follow up discussing his experiences since leaving Accutrainee and joining at top ten City law firm. You can find the link to the video here: 

Accutrainee Alumni

This encouraged me to seek out other Accutrainee Alumni and find out what they have been doing since qualification. I managed to track down quite a few of our Alumni in their current roles to ask them specifically about their time at Accutrainee and how it has impacted their ongoing careers.

I am pleased to say the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and there were many examples of Alumni landing their dream roles post qualification and feeling equipped to deliver high quality results. I wanted to highlight some of the comments that prove to me this model is getting the results that Susan set out to achieve:

  • High Quality Mentoring – ‘I valued the monthly principal meetings the most. The ability to discuss careers development, goals and concerns with an experienced independent party (not from your secondment) is priceless. The insight and knowledge I got from Elizabeth and Susan was priceless. 
  • Flexibility and Opportunity – ‘Accutrainee can sell you in ways that online application processes can’t.’ ‘They were able to help me get a training contract with a top organisation.’ ‘I will always be grateful to Accutrainee for the opportunity it gave me to complete my training in a flexible way which perfectly fit my circumstances.’ ‘I am immensely grateful to Accutrainee, my supervisors and all the people involved for giving me the opportunity to qualify. A training contract was a hurdle that I would not have been able to overcome without Accutrainee given my specific background. I knew that once I qualified I would do well. I have not had trouble securing interviews for the positions I have been interested in.’
  • Bespoke Training – ‘since qualifying, I have found an NQ position at an international law firm. In my view the main advantage of training through Accutrainee is the opportunity to shape your training contract’ ‘There are many advantages to the Accutrainee model, primarily the tailor-made training contract that was adapted to me as a professional changing career path. This enabled me to utilise the practical skills I had already gained in the workplace to my advantage as a lawyer.’ ‘My bespoke hands-on training contract supported by Accutrainee enabled me to take charge of the career I want to make for myself.’
  • Core Skills Focus – ‘I have hit the ground running in my first year of qualifying thanks to my training at Accutrainee, which prepared me for the various challenges of a career in law.’ ‘I really valued the quality of the training and the mentors provided by Accutrainee. Training part-time whilst also studying the LPC part-time was really tough however Accutrainee did not only get me across the line, they enabled me to work at the high standard required if you want to do well in the legal sector.’

This represents just a small section of the feedback I received. I am very grateful to all the Alumni that took the time to respond, thank you! 

Alumni Statistics

Finally, I wanted to share some statistics with you that give some insight to the Accutrainee model and its success.

Current employers by type and size
We broke down our Alumni by type and size of organisation they are employed by since qualification. Much like our diverse set of clients, I am pleased to see a good cross section of the market being covered. 

Qualification Sector
We also looked at the sectors our Alumni have been working in. The key stat for me being the exact split in those working within legal services (or law firms) versus the private sector, being an exact 50/50 split. You would not typically see that from Trainees at other firms so early on in their careers, representing the opportunities the model offers Trainees once they qualify to enter the sector of their choice.

I am hugely encouraged from the feedback and the statistics, reinforcing the fact that Accutrainee delivers a unique, flexible and efficient way for firms to manage and develop their future resource needs and graduates to benefit from bespoke high-quality training contracts and work experience.

As part of next month’s newsletter, I will be focusing on the key Core Skills our future lawyers need and what that really means for our clients and of course our current and future trainees.

Accutrainee Spotlight

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Candidate A
Looking for his final seat. He has a French Baccalaureate, BA in Economics, BA in French Law and master’s in international Economic Law and achieved a commendation in both his GDL and LPC. Having gained some great experience in trade & export finance and financial regulation respectively this candidate is keen to move into a finance related seat.

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Candidate B
Looking for his third seat. He has a Law degree from the University of Warwick and has also completed an MSc in Politics and Government in the EU from LSE achieving a Merit. His most recent experience has been working for a boutique litigation firm gaining extradition and white-collar crime experience. Open to a range of opportunities to build his experience.

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Candidate C
Looking for her final seat. She has a Law degree from Queen Mary, University of London. She has gained a variety of experience within financial services, including time at Investment Bank Goldman Sachs before getting her training seat at boutique firm and then a financial consultancy; gaining experience in fraud and extradition, privacy and data protection and most recently commercial and regulatory work. She is open to a wide range of opportunities to compliment her training contract.

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Candidate D
Looking for his second seat. He has a BA in Modern History and master’s in Law, Business and Management and achieved a commendation in both his GDL and LPC. Having completed his first seat at a financial consultancy firm, he has gained some great experience in financial services regulation and is open to working in any area of law to build his experience.

Accuflex Lawyer Spotlight

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Candidate A
5 year PQE, Cambridge University educated, trained at Clifford Chance with three years’ experience at Dentons in dispute resolution and arbitration. Pragmatic and proactive team-player with excellent drafting, research and management skills. Returning from a sabbatical spent working at Unicef UK looking for interim or permanent opportunities.

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Candidate B
Accutrainee newly qualified Solicitor. Experience at three different Accutrainee clients including two law firms. His work has involved complex contentious matters as well as financial services and regulation. Prior to joining us as a Trainee he worked for Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Reed Smith which included litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution work. Looking for interim or permanent opportunities as an NQ.

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