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Should I decline Training Contract? Watch

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    Hello,

    I need some urgent advice on a decision I need to make by Monday regarding my career. I currently work in a small niche family law practice and have been working here since March 2015. I am currently a legal clerk. Because I have been considering my future prospects at the firm I have been open to looking elsewhere for a similar position that would have the possibility of a training contract in a larger firm which deals with more areas of the law.

    I was approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a legal clerk position in a well respected medium-sized firm which would offer a higher salary and more opportunity for the future. They said after a 6 month probation a training contract could be possible within the next 6 months after. I went for an interview and successfully have been offered the position.

    I told my current employer about my job offer and they got back to me to say that they would match the salary offered by this other firm and offer me a training contract to start in June 2016.


    I am now in a dilemma as to which offer to go with. I had initially planned to leave my current job for this other firm however now that my current employer has offered me a training contract this has changed everything and I have in my head that I would be mad to turn this down. However I do not think the actual training I would receive would be to the same standard as what I would receive at the other firm if I was successful to secure a training contract there. I see there is risk to me going with either offer.

    I would be grateful for any advice on this.

    Rebecca


    *****update******

    Thank you to all who replied and the advice given which has been very helpful.

    I decided I could not risk turning down a training contract as I do enjoy working in my current job and it is what I have wanted for some time now.

    I am slightly dissapointed I have to turn down the other firm as I do believe they are a very good law firm and I do hope to have the opportunity to apply there again in the future.

    Thanks again,

    Rebecca
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    This may sound like the most unhelpful advice ever, but go with your gut instinct. No one can really give you a clear idea of which one is right for you, only you can do that.


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    Be really clinical about your decision, and eliminate emotional issues such as obligation/guilt. I'd go for the larger, well respected firm, with greater opportunities, better training standards and a higher salary.
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    (Original post by beccabocker)
    Hello,

    I need some urgent advice on a decision I need to make by Monday regarding my career. I currently work in a small niche family law practice and have been working here since March 2015. I am currently a legal clerk. Because I have been considering my future prospects at the firm I have been open to looking elsewhere for a similar position that would have the possibility of a training contract in a larger firm which deals with more areas of the law.

    I was approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a legal clerk position in a well respected medium-sized firm which would offer a higher salary and more opportunity for the future. They said after a 6 month probation a training contract could be possible within the next 6 months after. I went for an interview and successfully have been offered the position.

    I told my current employer about my job offer and they got back to me to say that they would match the salary offered by this other firm and offer me a training contract to start in June 2016.


    I am now in a dilemma as to which offer to go with. I had initially planned to leave my current job for this other firm however now that my current employer has offered me a training contract this has changed everything and I have in my head that I would be mad to turn this down. However I do not think the actual training I would receive would be to the same standard as what I would receive at the other firm if I was successful to secure a training contract there. I see there is risk to me going with either offer.

    I would be grateful for any advice on this.

    Rebecca
    Because you're guaranteed a training contract at your current firm, maybe stay there. Then, once you become a solicitor, look at vacancies at the bigger law firms (post-TC) if you feel the same way. This advice is coming from a high school pupil by the way so obviously you are probably a lot more able at making such a decision. Well done on getting a TC btw, don't forget how many people would love one atm!


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    From the information you've given, I'd stay where you are.

    - your current employer obviously rate you enough to guarantee a TC which means you don't have to build your reputation from scratch
    - your potential new employer is only saying that there is a chance that a TC offer could be forthcoming (equally they could just not offer you one)

    Have you applied/been applying for TCs in the past? If you are just starting, maybe you want to take the risk of potentially getting/not getting a TC elsewhere.

    If you haven't had much success in the past (I presume you've done your LPC if your current firm are talking about June start) then maybe the risk free option is better?

    Do you want to stay in family law though?
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    Ok, I've just reread your OP, and would still recommend switching, but explain your situation and negotiate harder: ie. 3 month probationary then 3 months until training contract. I'm not familiar with legal training, but it still seems a better option if you tighten up the terms.

    My biggest single regret when I started my first graduate job was missing the opportunity to negotiate harder on my opening terms, as that would have set me up quicker for all subsequent benefits.
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    (Original post by DrSocSciences)
    Ok, I've just reread your OP, and would still recommend switching, but explain your situation and negotiate harder: ie. 3 month probationary then 3 months until training contract. I'm not familiar with legal training, but it still seems a better option if you tighten up the terms.

    My biggest single regret when I started my first graduate job was missing the opportunity to negotiate harder on my opening terms, as that would have set me up quicker for all subsequent benefits.
    Very few employers would offer a 13 week probation period. 6 months is fairly industry standard. Given how protected trainees are, they will probably want to keep the six months.


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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    From the information you've given, I'd stay where you are.

    - your current employer obviously rate you enough to guarantee a TC which means you don't have to build your reputation from scratch
    - your potential new employer is only saying that there is a chance that a TC offer could be forthcoming (equally they could just not offer you one)

    Have you applied/been applying for TCs in the past? If you are just starting, maybe you want to take the risk of potentially getting/not getting a TC elsewhere.

    If you haven't had much success in the past (I presume you've done your LPC if your current firm are talking about June start) then maybe the risk free option is better?

    Do you want to stay in family law though?
    Thanks for your reply.

    I haven't applied for other training contracts in the past because I secured my current job whilst studying on the lpc and I wanted to work within family law (and still do) so it was a great opportunity at the time. I thought that after a few months a training contract would be considered ( I appreciated not offered straight away) and I wouldn't have to look elsewhere. This firm is going through some changes at the moment as well, a partner is retiring and there may be a possible merger in the coming months with another firm.

    The other job I have been offered will also be working in family law. They also practice in other high street areas e.g. employment, private client etc so this is what attracted me to the position as if I secured I training contract I would get exposure to these areas. Obviously I see the risk is primarily having experience only in family law because of legal aid cuts etc.

    It's such a hard decision!
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    (Original post by beccabocker)
    Hello,

    I need some urgent advice on a decision I need to make by Monday regarding my career. I currently work in a small niche family law practice and have been working here since March 2015. I am currently a legal clerk. Because I have been considering my future prospects at the firm I have been open to looking elsewhere for a similar position that would have the possibility of a training contract in a larger firm which deals with more areas of the law.

    I was approached by a recruiter on LinkedIn about a legal clerk position in a well respected medium-sized firm which would offer a higher salary and more opportunity for the future. They said after a 6 month probation a training contract could be possible within the next 6 months after. I went for an interview and successfully have been offered the position.

    I told my current employer about my job offer and they got back to me to say that they would match the salary offered by this other firm and offer me a training contract to start in June 2016.


    I am now in a dilemma as to which offer to go with. I had initially planned to leave my current job for this other firm however now that my current employer has offered me a training contract this has changed everything and I have in my head that I would be mad to turn this down. However I do not think the actual training I would receive would be to the same standard as what I would receive at the other firm if I was successful to secure a training contract there. I see there is risk to me going with either offer.

    I would be grateful for any advice on this.

    Rebecca
    As you and others have already said above, there are pros and cons to each firm, such as the wider variety of work at the new firm, or the fact that your current firm values you enough to have matched the other firm's offer once you made them aware of it.

    Personally, my view would be that if you're enjoying the work at your current firm and family law is the area you want to practise in, then I would stay where you are due to the security of the TC offered in June. After all, from from you've said, there's only a possibility of a TC in the new place, so not a guarantee. Having said that, I do concur with the above posts in saying you should go with your gut instincts. Also, don't forget you can always look to go elsewhere post-TC once you're qualified.

    If you're able to negotiate further with the new firm and get an actual guarantee of a TC in due course, rather than just the possibility, then things would be quite different, in my opinion.
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    Congratulations on the TC! You might be the first person on here who got a TC while making no apps.

    It's not quite clear to me why, if you joined the firm for the family law and were hoping to be offered a TC over time, why you haven't got what you want.

    I guess the answer has to be because now you think you want a TC in the other firm as they do a more wider variety of high street law.

    Well your firm must be able to offer three areas of law for a TC although you seem to be unsure about the training on offer at your present firm

    What about the quality of the work? Does your current firm do a wide variety of family work? Ultimately he quality of the work helps to get jobs.

    I think this decision isn't helped by your not having made any TC apps. Why haven't you been applying for TCs? What sort of candidate are you? You are obviously good enough to have these two firms interested but you don't know how strong an applicant you are. Were you a bit scared of applying for TCs?

    It is your decision. But be clear that you have only one TC offer. The other is not a TC offer, don't think of it like that at all, perhaps they will consider you for TC perhaps they won't. Perhaps they will and you won't get the TC.

    Have you investigated your new firm's existing trainees? Or former trainees? Do they have a good record of offering their paralegals, or however they might employ you, TCs? Are there many paralegals all competing for a small number of TCs?

    As you make the decision try and be as honest about your motivations as possible with yourself

    Good luck, you have done well. Will you let us know what you decide?


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