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Consultant: Don’t Let Deferrals Make You Lazy
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If you’re an incoming first year associate and your start date has been deferred, use this time to impress your new firm.

That’s the advice of Judith Germain of UK consulting firm Dynamic Transitions. She says that many firms will use this opportunity to see which graduates have stronger leadership tendencies, by observing how productively they spend their free time.

Many graduates may be drawn into seeing this as a free ticket to a year of ‘loafing’ before they start their training, but in reality they need to realise that they are also being tested to see how self-motivated they can be when left to their own devices. Law firms are making the decision to defer start dates because they feel they need to in the current climate. This doesn’t mean they will not be watching to see how their trainees use their time.

  
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Although some firms say there is no stipulation on how trainees spend the time or money, Germain urges trainees not to take this at face value, or be too complacent about their job prospects next year.

“Graduates should use the time to ‘round off’ their experience by doing relevant work or by enrolling in further education. Employers will be more impressed with those that use their time well,” Germain says.

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