Matt Broadbent - The LawCareers.Net Awards – what are they and why do they matter?
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On 16 May this year, we will be hosting the 16th annual LawCareers.Net Awards at Grace Hall in London. The purpose of the awards is to identify and celebrate those organisations which set an example to the legal profession in the way they attract, select and develop trainee solicitors. Make no mistake, some firms do the job a lot better than others. Clearly this is good for business; a workforce who feel they are getting a good deal will be happier, more productive and most probably more profitable than people who are demotivated. It is also the right thing to do and has a direct impact on thousands of nascent careers. Nobody expects the early part of a legal career to be easy or a ’soft touch’, but being properly supported, treated and communicated with makes a huge difference to confidence and, in turn, competence!
So how do we assess who is best? It’s simple really; we ask the people who know best – new lawyers. Firms send a link to our online survey to trainees and newly qualified solicitors (NQs) of less than a year’s standing. They are presented with a series of statements that cover the various aspects of good practice (eg, how accurately the firm is presented, quality and regularity of assessment and so on). These answers are converted into a numerical core (provided we have sufficient answers form the firm) and an average score is achieved. The firms are then grouped alongside their peers (eg, large City firm, medium regional firm) and their scores compared. Within each group we announce, well in advance, the six or seven top scorers as nominees, and on the night the winners are revealed!
The awards are based on an extensive survey of trainees and newly qualified solicitors, with respondents asked to frankly assess their own experiences and score their firm on criteria related to the recruitment, training, work placement scheme and training principal. The nominated firms represent employers who are excelling in their support of trainees and junior lawyers.
And don’t go looking for who is the ‘worst’. We only publish information about the firms who shine. If the firm you are researching is not nominated, it may have had a total mauling from its lawyers or it may just not have participated (though that might be because it expected a mauling). Life is too short for mudslinging.
So keep an eye out for the award results on 16 May as we live tweet them using #LCNawards19.