With Lucy Brady, senior consultant, Hughes-Castell, Sydney
Q I am a junior corporate lawyer and was made redundant last year by my top tier firm. I have been applying for positions but always lose out to people who are currently working.
A Firstly your position has been retrenched, you have not been fired! If you are a junior lawyer the likelihood is there simply was just not enough work for you and given your level of post admission the firm was not able to charge you out at a rate that would make financial sense for them to keep you on. It is true that on some occasions retrenchment has been used as a tool to get rid of "dead wood", do not assume that this applies across the board.
To over-come this hurdle, I would suggest first obtaining a written reference from your supervising partner specifying how they found your work performance, also ask them to comment on whether they would re-employ you if there was enough work.
On a more positive note the market is picking up significantly with firms beginning to recruit again. We are beginning to return to a candidate short market so your chances of re-employment will greatly increase.