Frequently asked questions
We have tried to answer the most common below but if your question isn’t answered below email our team at:
1. I have a 2.2 can I apply?
Yes but we suggest you demonstrate in your application all your relevant skills and experience plus any additional training or further education.
2. I don’t have a law degree can I apply?
Yes we welcome applications from all graduates and post graduate students.
3. Do you have a preference for graduates from certain universities or GDL or LPC providers?
No we recognise that many universities and providers provide excellent courses.
4. When I join the firm on the core legal programme will I have a choice of “starter role?
No we will allocate you into a “starter role” dependent on business need and generally you will remain in this role for 12 months but occasionally we move our graduates around.
5. Will my “starter role” on the core legal training programme impact on my ability to apply for a particular pathway and or be successful at the assessment centre stage?
Absolutely not! Whichever role you undertake will equip you with essential skills and experience to be considered on an equal footing.
6. In brief what are the three pathways how do they differ?
Trainee Team Coordinator
This pathway aims to provide Graduates with a structured training programme to equip them to follow a career in the management of staff conducting claims handling/litigation. The focus of this pathway is the management of people and resources rather than the hands on provision of legal advice. In this pathway trainees will work alongside an experienced Team Manager/Team Coordinator undertaking specific tasks assigned by a Team Manager/Team Coordinator.
Trainee Technical Analyst
This pathway aims to provide Graduates with a structured training programme to equip them to follow a career to become a Technical Analyst dealing with a range of work from routine matters and/or specialist works and/or complex litigation. In this pathway trainees will work alongside an experienced Legal Executive/Solicitor.
This pathway aims to provide Graduates with a structured training programme to qualify as a Solicitor. Trainees on this stream follow a structured training programme governed by standards laid down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Trainees undertake on the job experience in a number of different areas of law but unlike many other Law firms graduates will not do this by a formal seat rotation system rather graduates will be exposed to the most relevant business experience available at the time they are undergoing their training.
7. Do all the pathways involve legal work?
Yes, our business is a legal service that is why entrance onto all the pathways requires the completion of the core legal training programme. However the legal work you undertake varies once you are on a particular pathway.
8. What is the process for deciding whether I can apply for a particular pathway?
During your first 12 months you will have been given regular feedback to evaluate where your future career may lie. At 9 and 12 months your team leader will also complete a work based performance assessment against our graduate competencies. The assessment process awards an overall grade of 1 to 3.Only graduates who have achieved grade 2 or 3 may apply for the pathway assessment process. If you are rated 2 or 3 your team leader will also inform you which pathway they will support you to apply for.
9. Do all graduates who start with the firm on the core legal programme receive an offer of a place on one of the pathways?
All graduates who meet our minimum work based assessment grades (see above) can apply to be considered for one of the pathways which has their team leader’s support. Whilst we will endeavour to offer Graduates a place on a pathway, the number of places available will be subject to both business need and the potential of each Graduate. Therefore some graduates may be unsuccessful. Those who are unsuccessful will be given detailed feedback and a decision will be made as to whether the Graduate is offered the opportunity to remain in the business in a legal assistant role and following a development programme reapply the following year.
10. What is the assessment process for a place on the pathways?
There is an assessment centre and final interview. Your work based performance assessment will account for 65% of the final decision.
11. How many places are there on each pathway?
The places available on each stream are dependent on business need. In general terms there are fewer places on the trainee team Coordinator and Technical analyst pathways than the training contract stream. In 2011 we recruited 5 Trainee Solicitors, 1 Trainee Team Coordinator and 1 Trainee Technical Analyst.
12. I know I want to be a trainee solicitor will I be forced to apply for an alternative pathway?
We cannot force you to apply for a particular pathway but you must have your team manager’s support to apply for a particular pathway .Our pathway approach is unique and innovative so we find some graduates change their minds once they have been exposed to our work and provided with feedback. All we ask when you join us is to keep an open mind, take on board the feedback you are given and use the first 12 months to fully explore your options.
13. Do all the pathways provide equal long term career opportunities?
Yes absolutely. Many of our staff in leadership roles are not qualified lawyers and have equal respect and status in the firm. The changes likely to come into force in early 2012 allowing firms to convert to Alternative Business Structures will allow non qualified staff to become partners in the firm.
14. I already have the LPC rather than apply for the trainee pathway can I work for the firm and qualify as a solicitor via the ILEX route?
The Ilex route to qualification as a solicitor does not allow an LPC graduate to qualify without sitting the Ilex qualifications therefore this is not a route which we support. The trainee solicitor pathway is the only route to qualify as a solicitor in the firm.
15. How will my performance and progress be monitored over the 2 years?
You will receive regular feedback and support on how you are doing sometimes on a daily basis depending on the work you are doing. In addition we operate a formal mentoring process where you have a formal review session every 2 months with your line manager. At this meeting your line manager will review your performance against your targets and our KPIs. In addition the review is the opportunity for you both to review how your performance is meeting our behavioural expectations and setting your development agenda. . This meeting is a great way for you to see the progress you are making and look at your development needs.
16. The pathways document mention enhanced mentoring what is it?
The enhanced Mentoring system is designed to sit alongside and supplement but not replace your regular line manager mentoring session which will focus on your day to day behaviours and performance against our KPI’s. Your line manager will continue to be the focus for your performance review.
The enhanced mentoring is an additional form of support and recognises that our training pathways are a development journey and aims to help you with your overall long term professional development.
The system will pair you with an experienced Practitioner who will meet with you on a regular basis and provide you with help and guidance around your personal development whilst on the training scheme.
17. What qualifications can I obtain on the pathways?
As a Trainee Team Coordinator you will obtain an NVQ 3 First Line manager accredited by ILM and Management Stage 1. As a Trainee Technical Analyst your qualification will be decided as you begin to specialise but could be ACDL, IOSH, APIL Certificate, Insolvency Practitioner, and GDL. As a Trainee Solicitor you will undertake the PSC and Management stage 1.
18. Can I change pathways?
Once you have taken up a place on a particular pathway you will be unable to switch or reapply for another pathway.
19. Will I be retained at the end of my training on the pathways?
Whilst there are no guarantees we are proud of our retention rates and our firm has so far been recession proof .We see our graduates as an investment for the future if you deliver what we are looking for we will aim to find you a job at the end of the pathway.
20. If I didn’t stay at the firm after the pathway what are my career prospects outside Plexus Law?
You will receive first class training and support and this will equip you with all the skills to thrive in the legal sector. Whilst our pathway approach is groundbreaking and not all firms will be moving to an ABS model the training we provide will you with, will be up there with the best and give you the appropriate skills to thrive in the changing legal world. Of course, we hope that you will choose to stay and grow with Plexus Law.