‘When is the best time to specify my preferred NQ department?’

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Advice needed

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one soon-to-be trainee seeks advice on selecting the department they will eventually qualify into.

“Hi Legal Cheek team,

I’m just about to start my training contract and I have a few ideas for areas I’d ultimately like to qualify into (bearing in mind, of course, these may change as I progress through my TC). When would be the best time to list these areas as my preferred NQ departments?

Near the end of the TC I’ll surely have more experience and will be able to perform better, and my performance will be fresher in the partners’ memory come qualification. On the other hand, if I wait to list my preferred area(s) near the end, I might not end up getting them at all, so I’m not sure how to balance these two factors.

Any advice from current / former trainees would be highly appreciated.”

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