Q: Why should I want to work as a locum?
A: Working as a locum solicitor can offer flexibility, variety and a change of scenery on a regular basis. Whilst our order books in recent years have not exactly been bulging, a good number of locums have found regular ongoing work.
Locums are in great demand at certain times of the year in law firms and in house legal departments. There are several reasons for this. Law firms have discovered that employing locums on a short term contract is a cheaper option than taking on permanent members of staff. Firms are also opening for increasingly longer hours, and this means having extra solicitors to cover the working week. As the legal job marketplace gets more flexible, law firms find themselves with staff who want to work part-time or job share, requiring more staff and subsequently more cover for those staff when they are off work. Some areas of the UK face recruitment problems, although these are rare in the current climate.
Finally, an increasing number of solicitors are getting involved in providing additional services or non-legal services (eg, HR management, ski instructor, nursing home owner etc..) as well as training & lecturing, providing continuing professional development (CPD), all of which may take them away from the office and result in the need for locums.