This drizzling Monday morning, Jordan de Leon is standing outside Liverpool Street Station at 8.30am holding a plaque reading ‘Aspiring Solicitor. Looking for entry level Job. Ask for CV.’
He is wearing a suit and tie with no jacket due to the muggy conditions – and is silent yet smiling as yawning commuters emerge onto the street.
Legal Geek observes this scene for 5 minutes, in which time at least 2,000 people must have walked past. Only one person stopped, and that was to ask if he could take a photo of Jordan. He didn’t take a CV.
It looks a tough gig Legal Geek has to admit. However, as we find out in an interview with Jordan immediately after his ‘shift’, it was actually a very fruitful two hours.
So much so that Jordan’s immediate reaction is: “It has restored my faith in humanity.”
His numbers are good: 15 CVs requested, two business cards passed back to him with two emails already landing in his inbox offering help (and this is all before 10am).
Jordan is thrilled, if a little surprised.
“Everyone is so busy in London so I didn’t think many people would have the time to stop and talk,” he says.
“But I thought why not try it because I have tried using recruiters, reaching out to at least 50 agencies but the feedback I kept getting was ‘have you thought about doing your LPC?’. I read an article on the Daily Mail about an accountant who had done the same thing and thought I’d give it a go.
“I didn’t need to get too geed up for it. Being a law graduate and having to wash vans at Pimlico Plumbers means you have to swallow your pride. I’m not demeaning the job but it’s not where you really want to be.
“Having already swallowed my pride, when it comes to things like today, I’m confident in my abilities and where I want to go so I just went for it.”
Despite securing an upper second class law degree from Anglia Ruskin University in 2014, Jordan says he didn’t have the required passion to pursue a legal career at the time. Instead he followed his passion of personal training, building his weekly group to 27 participants and training celebrities such as comedian Griff Rhys-Jones.
But now the legal bug has bitten and his work at Pimlico Plumbers supplies the stability he needs to launch the first stage of his new career plan: finding paralegal work.
In a brutally honest and persuasive cover letter which is attached to his CV, he writes:
“Some may consider this (his current work) a miserable defeat for a Law graduate. But I am not ashamed to say this is my most defining moment out of all that I have achieved. Swallowing my pride and doing what is necessary to become the person I want to be has been my greatest awakening as to the strength of my character.”
Facing knock-backs is a familiar story for many aspiring lawyers, and the state of legal education is a hot topic – one which this year’s Legal Geek Conference will be focusing on through our partnership with the University of Law.
And for those in Jordan’s position – without any true legal experience he can put on paper and having spent time away from the law pursuing other ventures – things can be particularly hard.
But this morning’s efforts have gone so well that Jordan is planning on going to other legal hotspots in London such as Holborn and Chancery Lane to hustle for contacts.
Jordan’s tactics are not new but they are rare, and they’re proving effective in delivering the most precious commodity in the legal jobs market: the attention of law professionals.
Can you help Jordan? LegalGeek have created a hashtag so you can share his story with your network: #Job4Jordan