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Qualified and still looking for an NQ role – advice needed watch

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    I qualified over the summer with a small firm in London and for business reasons they could not keep me on. I took some time out after qualifying but now I just cannot find the right NQ role.

    I started searching for NQ positions back in Spring this year. However, had I focused my energies on a niche, non-mainstream area. I got to the final interview stages with two large City firms and so initially, I felt encouraged to continue my search in this area, despite the fact that I had not done a seat in it. However, in August I realised I was not progressing any further with this area and was receiving identical rejection feedback from firms (namely I had not done a seat in this area). After qualifying, I therefore changed my focus to a practice area in which I had done a seat, namely Corporate and Commercial.

    Evidently I have missed the boat for Autumn but I am struggling to find something law-related to do in the meantime. I’ve been told by recruiters that the market is unusually quiet and competitive at the moment. I’ve applied for paralegal work to tide me over, however, I've been told I'm now "overqualified” for such work and that I will leave for a qualified position. I’ve also applied for interim positions but have been told that these generally require at least 3-6 months’ post-qualification experience. I’ve also considered working in-house and interviewed for a financial services role but I don’t think in-house is for me just yet and I would like to remain in private practice.

    Has anyone else experienced anything similar to this and if so, do they have any advice they would be willing to share? I know it's a tough market out there but I’d be extremely grateful for any guidance!

    Thank you

    Hi, I am a mid-level associate. I haven't moved at NQ level myself, but from speaking to colleagues it seems that it can be challenging to find an NQ position, but gets easier after a year or so of qualification.

    If you want to move into a very niche area it can take time for a good role to come up and you may be a more competitive candidate if you have a couple months experience (even in an unrelated area).

    Corporate/commercial is a very broad description. You could always try to get a general corporate/commercial role for now, and try to move into a slightly different area after a year or two of qualification? I know a handful of people that have done this. General corporate/commercial work would be good experience for any transactional or advisory area of law.

    I don't think paralegalling is a good solution except in the very short term.
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