State of the Market – Family Law in Merseyside
If you’re a family lawyer (or even an aspiring lawyer) in Merseyside, now is a great time to consider making a move.
Since becoming the specialist family recruiter in the Merseyside region I have been finding out all thing’s family law in Merseyside (if you couldn’t guess) and all I can say is: a lot is going on! the market is rife with opportunities for jobseekers.
Firms are recruiting at all levels from newly qualified (NQ) to Partner Level and even paralegal roles are abundant. The market is currently jobseeker-driven, making it the ideal time to look for a move. This is because more roles are becoming available than there are solicitors actively looking to move meaning less competition for each role.
Merseyside has something for everyone, from large Legal 500 firms located in Liverpool City Centre to regional and boutique firms all across the county, you name it, Merseyside has it. As mentioned earlier they are all hiring and there are several firms growing their family departments specifically. Work from home flexibility is at an all-time high with a large proportion of firms allowing their lawyers to work from home for part of the week (however it’s important to note that this is not the case across the board).
NQ – junior solicitors
Liverpool and Merseyside overall have so much to offer NQ – Junior Solicitors in terms of opportunities. Broadly speaking, these opportunities can be split into two categories: roles at large city centre firms and roles at smaller regional/boutique firms. The kinds of jobs on offer to you will depend on where and what kind of firm you would prefer to work.
Large City Centre Firms
- They tend to have more jobs. Quite simply, the bigger firms have more jobs on offer. There may be higher competition but there is a lot more opportunity.
- The convenience of travel – if you don’t have a car, you’ll rely on public transport and the city centre is where it’s most frequent. There’s a large number of law firms within walking distance from Liverpool Lime Street station and close to the local bus links.
- Working for a well-known firm opens the door to many other opportunities later on – having the name of a Legal 500 firm on your CV is normally an eye-opener for employers. By working at one of these firms, you’ll have the opportunity to gain the reputation of the firm you work for.
- They usually have less high-pressure working environments – In the smaller firms, often caseloads aren’t as heavy. You’re also more likely to be noticed as there’s less competition between lawyers and this can really work in lots of people’s favour.
- Outside the city – Some love the city, others less so much, this really does depend on your personal preference, everyone is different. Smaller firms are more likely to be based outside of the city centre, so are more convenient for those not looking to commute into Liverpool.
- There’s often a greater variety of work– Regional and boutique firms tend to do a split of private and care work and legal aid whereas city centre firms usually focus more on private work. If you’re looking to be exposed to a mix of work (including legal aid), it might be worth considering a smaller firm.
There are a lot of opportunities on offer around Merseyside at the moment and as mentioned earlier, solicitors are well and truly in the driver’s seat. As a result, the packages involved are often very lucrative, particularly for more experienced family lawyers.
Many firms are offering the opportunity for senior family lawyers to grow their own team and run their own ship with the chance to progress to partner level later down the line; if that’s the move you’ve been yearning for, you’re in luck. It’s the perfect time to take that leap of faith and take your career to the next level. Obviously, this all depends on what you want from your career.
In contrast, there are lots of opportunities to join a firm and hit the ground running with minimal supervision. There’s a lot of work available at the moment and not enough lawyers, so you’ll become a prized employee if you can just get on with your work without needing to be shown the ropes. If you’re looking for that extra autonomy but don’t think a leadership role is for you, there are so many opportunities out there.
If you’re a junior private family solicitor, you should expect a starting salary in the region of £30,000, jumping up to around £40,000 at Associate level. Senior associates tend to earn around £55,000 with partner salaries starting at circa £65,000.
I hope all this information has helped and I wish you all the best of luck in your careers, and if you do want any help don’t hesitate to give me a call.
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Or visit our Family Merseyside page