Emma Khanna and Raj Sidhu say:
"Local authorities are always open to considering candidates with a diverse and varied background. Our experience has shown us that newly qualified candidates from high street firms have many transferable skills which lend themselves well to the local government environment. Particular skill sets which are of interest to local authorities are, social services/childcare, housing, civil litigation, commercial property, planning and employment. Most recently there has been a growing tend for local authorities to hire newly qualified candidates from private practice firms who have completed a family seat and dealt with public childcare proceedings.
"This is because there is an increasing demand for childcare lawyers due to the increase in care proceedings issued within social services. Newly qualified candidates from a private practice firm who have had exposure to public childcare work have often worked on a case, against a local authority so the experience and skills are very transferable and of interest.
"We find that the best route into a local authority for a newly qualified candidate from a private practice firm is to enter as a legal assistant, whereby the role would involve supporting a team of lawyers with their cases. Our experience has shown that candidates who take this route are very quickly given a small caseload of their own to manage and further build their experience and progress into a lawyer role. Our experience has also shown that newly qualified candidates from smaller private practice firms often have experience of managing their own cases whilst training and we find that this is of interest to busy local authority teams who look for candidates who can take on a caseload from the outset."
Paul Gilbert says:
"If you are hard working, well rounded, articulate and have the strength of your convictions, the answer is yes, but the next twelve months will be particularly tough and new recruitment into any local authority team will not be the norm. Searching for new roles therefore will be tougher than ever, so ensure your networks are well developed, continue to work on your soft skills and be persistent."