NQ Positions

Qualified in September 2020, unfortunately there wasn't an NQ position for me at the firm. I looked for jobs elsewhere and as the NQ market was almost non-existent, I took a temporary administrative job over Christmas. Now looking at NQ positions that may (or may not) roll out in the March intake. Worried that I will have had 6 months out of law as an NQ.

Should I take a step back and start applying for paralegal positions, just to get that foot back in the door? I know several other NQs in my position, which is worrying, given that jobs are incredibly competitive at the moment. 

Six months shouldn't be an issue given the current mayhem. I've only ever had trouble when trying to get back in after a couple of years out of practice.

I would start paralegalling if you want to stay in the law at the same time as applying.  You'd be doing pretty much the same work as an NQ and it's good to make contacts.

No sure why you wouldn't do both?  Get whatever law job is going and keep on applying for NQ roles.  When one comes along, drop the paralegal job like a hot potato.  Unless notice periods are an issue, but if you are a contract paralegal that is not a problem  

That's the plan - I'm aiming to do both, so paralegal and then keep applying for NQ positions

Can you paralegal if you've been admitted to the Roll?

Paraweasel whilst applying and if possible, in an area of law you want to be an NQ in. You'll keep on top of new developments and will probably get experience of more stuff that sounds good to a potential recruiter.

I would also send your CV to every single firm you can find that you want to work for with a covering letter explaining yourself and asking to be considered for an NQ opening. 

You may time things very well for a temp NQ job on a massive disclosure or due diligence or maternity cover or similar that isn't with a chinny agency and isnt advertised.

that's good advice from FTSE. It's how I got my first job in law.

I worked with a guy once who phoned the partner who recruited him every single day for year asking for a job.

The partner recruited him just to stop him phoning. /in the end he was a very good hire and (unsurprisingly) great at selling.

I'm surprised nobody has made the obvious joke about NQ positions....

Chequers you can and I have done so.  Didn't have a practising certificate at the time so couldn't be a solicitor.

So my follow up question is - can you actually apply for a paralegal roles as a qualified solicitor? I'm on the roll as a non-practising solicitor 

Yes as per my post above I’ve done this before.  Firm eventually paid for me to get my practising certificate back as they got bored of me having to get a colleague to do certain things I couldn’t technically do despite having done them many times before when I was practising.

Thanks SummerSails - I think it's the route I'll have to go down, as the NQ market is incredibly tough atm, whereas there's a fair few paralegal positions. I'm prepared to take a salary cut, particularly if WFH is here for a while