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Part-time training contract?

(35 Posts)
Eliru Thu 21-Feb-13 12:42:16

Has anyone had experience of this?

I completed my LPC while pregnant with ds1, have just had ds2 and thinking about my options for going back to work (in 8 months-1 year).

I really want to qualify as a solicitor but not sure I'm ready to go straight into a full time training contract.

Does anyone know if any firms might offer one part-time? It seems unlikely to me but thought I'd ask around.

Otherwise thinking of looking for part-time paralegal work until ready to go back full time.

Any comments gratefully received!

Chunderella Sun 24-Feb-13 12:27:03

Definitely agree. OP it sounds like you'd be best identifying firms that do both family and private client and targeting them. And make a business case for a part timer- especially if you're willing to accept a relatively low salary. When you're part time, even a few thousand doesn't add that much to your monthly pay packet- especially considering the nil rate tax band will soon be raised again. And no point faffing over how things could've been different, you are where you are full stop.

imnot Sun 24-Feb-13 12:50:11

I don't know why people think family law will be more appropriate for p-t work. The hours can be long and stressful and as it is litigation based there are court deadlines you have to work to. TCs are like gold dust at the moment and at my firm we have so many applicants that I imagine anyone seeking a p-t TC would have no chance. I agree that you'd be far better off getting into a firm by doing paralegal or secretarial work and then applying for a TC and trying to negotiate p-t hours once you've got it, or simply applying for a f-t TC and accepting that you'll work f-t for 2 years and then try and negotiate p-t hours once you've qualified, and proved yourself.

Chunderella Sun 24-Feb-13 13:06:12

I don't think people are saying family law is intrinsically better suited to PT, although when I did my TC family law seat, one of the solicitors did a 3 day week. It's just that in asking for PT, you're already asking the employer to think outside the box. If you're asking for it in an area you've not worked in, you're asking them to go even more out on a limb. Whereas if you already have experience, you're a safer pair of hands. You only need them to cross one bridge rather than two. If OP had paralegalled in a private client firm and was interested in moving into family, the same would apply.

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Sun 24-Feb-13 15:23:42

I'd be concerned with the changes in legal aid that a TC in a family oriented firm would be even harder to come by now. Some of my former colleagues are being made redundant.

Eliru Tue 26-Feb-13 16:47:18

Agree Chunderella no point thinking about how things could be different - just got to get on with it!

Yes legal aid cuts concerning but hopefully will manage to find somewhere with a broad enough range of seats available to train in.

Thanks for all the posts btw, really appreciated.

Murtette Wed 27-Feb-13 22:37:04

One of my friends did do a part time TC but not part time as you're thinking of it (i.e. less than 5 days a week) but part time in that he did 6 months, had 6 months off etc so his TC took 4 years in total.
We have had trainees who, for health reasons (ME, arthritis), have ended up being part time but it wasn't scheduled part time hours but ad hoc depending on how they were feeling.

racmun Thu 07-Mar-13 23:20:56

As a solicitor 6yrs pqe in commercial
Property who is now a SAHM I am amazed by anyone who manages to work as a fee earner and have a family life.

Most law firms expect ridiculous hours and almost frown upon you if you want to leave on time let alone early or work 4 days (in which vase you do 5 days work in 4)

The stress I experienced being a solicitor in a large regional firm in the south east was too much to face going back to. I don't think there is any easy option as an area for law - clients are demanding and firms expect you to service the clients- you are the clients bitch. I never cocked up on anything but a couple of colleagues were literally marched out the office for messing up and the firm being sued- as a solicitor you can't just have an off day and make a mistake - you end up being sued for being negligent.

Think long and hard

Eelo24 Wed 22-Oct-14 22:45:34

Hi Eliru,

Find myself in the same situation as you at the moment, on mat leave with my 22 month old and 5 month old, having completed lpc while pregnant with my first. So I was curious to see how you are getting on now? Have your managed to find a part time training contract? smile

Eliru Mon 14-Sep-15 18:57:38

Hi Eelo24

Sorry I've just realised this was written almost a year ago! No I didn't find a part-time training contract but I've been doing a part-time PSL type role in a family law firm for a year and a half. It's great for now but I'm not sure about the long term plan! My eldest has just started school and little one at nursery now. How are you getting on work wise?

Meldamon27 Thu 19-May-16 07:48:01


I have just read this and was wondering how your search was going? I was in the same position, I had my little one after I had completed my LPC and wanted to go back into law once he was at pre school. I found a part time job as a paralegal in a very small firm, only 3 partners. After six months of doing work in the office and taking lots of work home with me, they told me they were really pleased with what I was doing and wondered if I would like to do a training contract. They have since registered with the SRA as a training provider and I am starting a part time training contract in December this year. We do personal injury and clinical negligence, conveyancing, family, probate and some commercial. I would say find a very small firm that needs a assistant, legal secretary etc, ask if you can do part time or flexible working including work from home. Don't worry whether they are a training provider of not. After proving yourself invaluable then ask if they would consider a training contract. It's definitely the way forward, but I would say the smaller and more relaxed the firm, the better.

Hope this helps, let me know how you get on😀

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