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Success in the Legal Sector: How to Commence and Progress your career

There is a thriving legal sector in Northern Ireland, which includes renowned local Law firms as well as national and international firms, who have established a growing presence.

The continued growth within the legal sector can be pinpointed down to two influencing factors:

  • Low operational costs: In Northern Ireland operating costs are typically 50% less than London and 40% less than New York
  • Exceptional talent: The region of Northern Ireland boasts two of the top 20 law schools in the UK. The legal talent pool includes an annual surplus of some 500 law graduates as well as an experienced cadre of professionals who are keen to return and re-locate to the region.

As a location, Northern Ireland has exactly what investors are looking for – a workforce that is educated, smart, innovative and results-driven. As global legal services and the business of law continue to evolve to meet changing market demands, Northern Ireland has become a centre for new technology-enabled delivery models and innovative client solutions.

The region offers an exciting range of cost-effective, quality-assured response solutions to global firms, sector disruptors and tech innovators, including:

  • Legal and shared services operations, legal process outsourcing and legal technology centres.
  • Building & expanding in-house legal capabilities.
  • Legal technology solutions developed by a globally renowned IT sector.

As a result, the Legal sector in Northern Ireland is extremely competitive and often candidate-driven.

Different Career Paths within the Legal Sector

There is usually only two typical types of career paths within the Legal sector, either Support/Administrative Role or Qualified Roles:

Working with the best Administrative candidates on the market, we believe that the administrative function is the most important commodity within any law firm, as this function is crucial to enable Solicitors to complete their job effectively.

Administrative roles within the Legal sector include:

  • Legal Administrators
  • Legal Secretaries/PA
  • Career Paralegals
  • Practice Managers

Candidates who occupy these roles are typically candidates who do not wish to qualify and administrative staff with experience within the Legal sector.

Upskilling and Development:

Due to the competitive nature of the Legal sector in Northern Ireland, Law firms are determined to retain their employees through upskilling and progression opportunities:

  • Upskilling: this can involve participating in various training courses to include case management systems, voice recognition, and service users. Upskilling can also involve diversifying for the area of law an employee is specialising in to make them a more well-rounded and knowledgeable employee.
  • Additional Duties: an employee who is determined to contribute to the growth of a company should always proactively seek work and alleviate the stress of other staff members. This can include being allocated additional responsibilities.
  • Progression: Law firms understand the value of a good employee and will often encourage the employee to progress internally. With regards to support staff, this could be moving from an administrator to a secretary or a secretary to an office manager. With regards to qualified staff, this could include buying into the firm as a Partner or Associate.

If you want to discuss the legal market with Hannah Fleming further or are interested in hearing about the number of opportunities we currently have within the legal industry, you can contact her on 028 9620 7050.

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