When we meet solicitors looking to move for the first time, one of the questions we always ask them is which locations they would consider new positions in. For many, the city in which they currently live and work is the only option due to family and other personal commitments, which is perfectly understandable. Others will happily relocate to any part of the UK for the right role. It is a very personal choice.
Back in “the good old days”, solicitors wanting a move could be much more picky about the location they wanted their legal recruiters to focus on and know they still had a very good chance of securing the perfect move. Post-2008 (invariably, in different disciplines at different times), limiting oneself to one location has resulted in a bit of a wait for that move to a new law firm. The net effect, understandably, has been a greater flexibility on the part of candidates.
We will be the first to accept that if you are currently in a legal role you are not desperately unhappy in and you have a family, the prospect of a move to another location is less appealing. However, given the state of the market, those solicitors (particularly NQs and junior solicitors) with no commitments could be well served by a progressive move to a new law firm in a different city.
As a trainee solicitor about to qualify, you would be much better off securing a NQ solicitor role in another location in the discipline you want to specialise in, than to remain in your current location but qualify into your second choice. You have to remember you are not wedded to the new location and if, after time, you want to return to your previous home city, you can! Obviously, you do not want to clutter your CV with constant moving, but a return after a couple of years would not be an issue.
The other option is to commute, especially if the cities are as close as Manchester and Leeds. Whilst adding a couple of hours to each working day may be a pain, the longer term goal of moving into the discipline you want to spend the rest of your legal career in should take precedence.
Obviously, the decision rests with the individual but the greater the flexibility, the better the chance of securing the perfect legal role.
If you would like to discuss this blog, have been thinking about a move or would just like some general advice about options in the market, please feel free to contact Terry Cape or Chris Clarke on 0113 2385965.
CapeClarke is a leading niche legal recruitment consultancy operating across Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool and London. Please feel free to check out our priority legal vacancies by clicking here. Please note these legal vacancies are only a small selection of those we have been instructed on, so please get in touch if you do not see a role which looks suitable.