‘Is it ok to take a gap year after my TC in a bid to find the perfect NQ role?’

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By Legal Cheek on


A trainee solicitor seeks advice

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, a rookie solicitor asks whether it is acceptable to have a gap after completing their training contract so that they can take the time to find the “perfect” NQ role for them.

“I am coming to the end of a really wonderful traineeship. It has been amazing but the organisation I work for has recently informed me, with very little time to go, that they will be unable to sustain my employment beyond my traineeship as they are downsizing.

Before being notified of this, I actually applied to a few other places in the hope of securing a better paying NQ role. I’ve had three interviews, all of which I’ve narrowly missed out on getting. My feedback centred on my lack of PQ experience and being unwilling to assign my traineeship over (I have a few cases in court that will conclude the month before I finish). However, as I thought I had my traineeship provider to fall back on, I was not worried.

Now, I am really struggling to find appropriate roles that compliment what I did in my traineeship and the areas of law I am interested in. Most roles I see that spark an interest are asking for significant PQ experience are just aren’t quite right for me. I also have a disability which prevents me from being able to drive, limiting me to NQ roles within commuting distance.

I am not looking to apply for any old NQ job just to have something to fall back on. That’s not me and that’s never going to be me. I would rather do a job adjacent to law until the perfect opportunity arises. I am also considering part-time study for a Masters, if I am afforded funding and the opportunity arises if I am unable to secure an NQ role by next summer.

I am wondering therefore if having a legal “gap” whilst I did other (related) work would be frowned upon? Is it possible to find work as a solicitor if you’ve only completed your two-year traineeship?”

If you have a career conundrum, email us at team@legalcheek.com.

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