I’m Andrew Gray, owner of Truth Legal and Truth Recruit. Truth Legal is probably the only regulated recruitment practice in the UK.
Here are 6 reasons why lawyers should always consider working for a larger law firm, particularly in the earlier stage of their career. A lot of lawyers in smaller law firms will disagree with me profoundly but message me and tell me that I’m wrong.
1. The pay.
Larger law firms pay better than smaller law firms. If you’ve had that higher pay, it’s easier to drop because you’ve probably accumulated greater assets and have a better mortgage etc. For example, some of the NQ’s at the American firms in London could be on £110,000 as their starting salary. That might take a lawyer in the north to make equity partner to attract a level of salary of that amount. If you worked in an NQ job for a few years in London, you would be financially set up for many years to come.
2. It is far easier going from a large law firm to a small law firm than it is the other way around.
Senior lawyers selecting new lawyers to join their large firm are a bit sniffy about lawyers from smaller law firms. They presume that they don’t know what they’re doing which isn’t true. Small law firms are a little bit starstruck by lawyers who worked at bigger law firms as well.
3. It looks good on your CV.
Anyone looking at your CV will think that that lawyer was capable of working in a large law firm.
Maybe they relocated or didn’t like it so they moved to a smaller law firm but it shows you have the capacity. That’s not to say that large law firms are always better; I run a small law firm and we produce fantastic law, if not better than some large law firms. Managing partners do often think that large ones are better. It’s a bit like going to Oxbridge, people who have gone there tend to find employment.
4. There are some fantastic lawyers at the top law firms, their legal 500 will be overwhelmed with lawyers from the top law firms.
It is a fantastic opportunity to be trained by these lawyers and something you will remember throughout the rest of your career.
They might not be great managers or very nice but this opportunity shouldn’t be passed up.
5. The process and technology.
Large law firms have a bigger budget and I think lawyers should have the opportunity to see technology at its best. Lawyers shouldn’t always be doing hourly rated work and things going slowly.
From a client’s point of view, if technology can speed up the process and make it cheaper for them, great. Makes your life easier, makes their bill smaller. If you spend some time in a larger law firm, you could take some of those processes and technologies to a smaller law firm.
6. Clients are always impressed if you’re in a small law firm and you’ve worked for a larger firm.
It shows you have the capacity and they’ll often brag that their lawyer used to work for so and so and they’ve heard of that law firm which makes them feel good.
I’m happy working in my small law firm but I’m glad I had that experience of working at a massive high street firm, then a national firm and a huge insurer’s firm.
If you want to know more about moving jobs and or about regulated legal recruitment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me or my colleague, Carl Waring.