Posted in Blog on 22 Aug 2018
It’s clear from an inspection of the residential conveyancing market on both a national and region-specific level that the practice area is changing, and fast. Conveyancers will see that new technology, innovative ways of improving the customer journey to meet rising expectations, and improved internal efficiency are allowing larger national practices to dominate a bigger portion of the market.
Now, this certainly doesn’t mean the traditional non-volume, full-process method of working is going anywhere, anytime soon, and that’s a good thing – but as a result it’s clear the conveyancing candidate market is starting to become split, and it’s a trend that’ll only continue as more firms continue to adopt a new way of working.
As a conveyancing candidate on the move, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s never been so important to take this into consideration when writing up your CV, getting in touch with new firms and recruiters, and getting out onto the market to see what’s there – and here are a few small tips to help you on your way:
In a market where the structure of larger departments is becoming more paralegal-heavy, and the conveyancing process may be split into separate teams for efficiency, being clear about what you can and can’t do is a must. Holding the job titles of “fee earner” OR “paralegal” may mean incredibly different things to different firms as the traditional structure slowly becomes rivaled by new ways of working. It’s really important for you to make it clear if you’re handling a mixed case load of sales, purchase and re-mortgage files from inception to completion, or handling a full case load of post-completion matters – even if both may have the title of Fee Earner dependent on the firm.
Don’t forget – In what can sometimes be a volume-driven market - The same goes for quantity of files. How many files you’re handling can often be seen as a major indicator, even if you feel you would be able to handle a higher volume of work.
In firms in which a considerable portion of the conveyancing department sits at paralegal / non-qualified level, what we tend to see is that candidates are given more responsibility earlier on than in more traditional practices where partners are keen to ensure paralegals are fully settled and have earned trust and further knowledge before passing over further responsibility. This has its pro’s and con’s dependent on your personal preferences either way, and usually comes down to supervision and the amount of incoming work.
It’s important to really emphasise on your CV how much of the time you've spent at your current firm has involved handling a caseload, as well as any previous responsibilities assisting on someone else’s files. It’s all about putting things in context, and in a competitive market it’s a great way to demonstrate a clear path of progression.
Now, this may seem as clear as day, but surprisingly – often, it’s not. If you’re keen to move into or away from a higher volume environment, if you’re happy to continue as a paralegal or feel ready to move into a junior fee earner role… make it so. Stating clearly what you’re looking for in an opening statement in your CV, and justifying why you’re perfectly positioned to move into such a role, will save you time in the future and allows recruiters and internal hiring managers to quickly assess whether there may be scope for you to join the team – there might be a role available that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Ultimately, there are a fantastic number of residential conveyancing roles available on a national level at the moment, with a range of traditional and non-traditional practices – and if you’re looking for a new role, then a clear, constructive and confident CV is the best way to get started.
Our North West team recruits for residential conveyancing across the Manchester region at all levels – get in touch today on 0161 233 6360 or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any roles which may be available on the market.
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