25 June 2014
Ahhh! Early Summer! The time of year when a new crop of NQ lawyers comes onto the market and Shotgun Sam falls all over himself to cash in.
We have long said that a lawyer needs to get his or her first post-qualification job without resorting to recruitment services. This is particularly true in Brussels, where there are many more lawyers than there are jobs and where more than 95% of the top firms refuse to pay a recruitment fee for young lawyers who should be applying directly. “Why,” they reason, “should we pay a recruitment fee for a young lawyer when there are so many other top-quality lawyers who are applying to us directly?”
The fact is that most firms simply delete or ignore emails from recruiters submitting junior lawyers. Why does this matter? Because, sadly, the lawyer has become, for all intents and purposes, frozen out of the Brussels job market for at least a year. Think about it. Shotgun Sam submits your details to dozens of firms, not one of which hires you; you then decide to take matters into your own hands and make direct application to all or most of the same firms. Well, you can’t! Even if you are exactly what a firm is seeking, and even if the firm might otherwise hire you if you had made a direct approach, it will not do so because it would find itself owing the recruiter a fee. You're well and truly stuffed!