July 14, 2017, by Carla Froggatt
Why Should You Choose a Local Law Firm?
By Rebecca Lister, Trainee Solicitor, Rothera Sharp
You might have an idea about the areas of law you want to work in, but what about the kind of firm you want to work for?
I’m a Trainee Solicitor at Rothera Sharp, having joined the firm in 2016. I completed my law degree at the University of Nottingham in 2015, with my third year studying at the University of Auckland. During my degree, I completed a vacation scheme with a large city firm and managed to secure a training contract.
During the course of the LPC, I made perhaps the most difficult decision of my life. I realised I would be more suited to a firm that was people focused and offered a better work-life balance, so withdrew from the training contract, and applied to Rothera Sharp.
Why a local law firm?
- Client contact – I chose law, because I enjoy having direct contact with the people I’m helping – you get more opportunities to do this at a local firm
- Responsibility and variety – There is a better choice of specialisms including private client and commercial services. There are also opportunities to get involved in other areas of the business such as engaging in business development activities and corporate social responsibility
- Faster progression – It can be easier to be recognised for your efforts than in a big city firm – setting your sights on becoming partner one day?
I knew I wanted to stay local to the East Midlands, so this factor really influenced my decision. During my degree, Nottingham had very much become my home. I looked into the possibility of commuting, but with the long city hours it would not have been feasible. I grew up in a small village and London never really appealed to me, nor did the lifestyle. Work life balance is important to me. I love my job and don’t mind going above and beyond for my clients, but I don’t want the culture of spending 24/7 in the office.
What can you expect if you stay local?
- Flexibility – The length of time in a seat is usually more flexible – especially if you’re working in a small team
- More individual support – Greater access to personalised guidance, support and mentoring
- Camaraderie – You get to know people quickly and social events outside of work are common
- Community links – Whether it’s new clients or client recommendations, you’ll build strong links with people from across the local community
People regularly ask me if I regret not to heading off to the big city firm. I can honestly say that it was the best decision that I ever made. Within the first two days of my training contract I was given my own files. I spend the majority of my time at court, rather than stuck behind a desk.
You may not earn as much as at Magic Circle firm, but for me job satisfaction is far more important. I feel a genuine valued member of the firm, not just another body. I would recommend all Nottingham graduates to look into a career at a local firm. There is far more to explore than just the traditional London route.