Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What does PQE stand for?

15.08.07 What is PQE, and how important is it to law firms?

PQE stands for 'Post-Qualified Experience', and is usually given in years or half years for solicitors and also for legal executives as well.

In terms of job advertisements, it was envisaged by various experts on age discrimination that it would no longer be an accepted method of describing vacancies by law firms, as it should not matter how many years experience you have for a post, rather it should be more based on your ability.

However since 2006 and the new laws, very little has changed, because in reality solicitors need certain levels of PQE before they can undertake certain tasks. For example, a 1 year PQE solicitor is legally unable to supervise an office - they have to be 3 years PQE before they are allowed to, and also have passed a management course recognised by the Law Society (some solicitors believe the latter to be a simple money spinning operation by various course providers, but I could not possibly comment).

So if you see a requirement for PQE in a job description, chances are it specifically relates to the salary levels the firm envisage offering, and this is now the way we advise firms to describe posts. It works quite effectively, because it means that if a 25 year PQE solicitor applies for a job advertised for a 1 year PQE solicitor, they are aware that the salary level is going to be somewhat lower than they expect for the level of experience...

We would not usually recommend an NQ (Newly Qualified) Solicitor applying for a post advertised as being for partner level!

Jonathan Fagan, MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - no.1 online legal recruitment agency - save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us! www.ten-percent.co.uk/register.htm

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