Tips for lawyers returning to South Africa

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Robert Walters has seen an rise in the number of South African legal professionals looking to return home from the UK. So what's the trade off to come home and is it worth it?

The country is offering much more growth than some of the more traditional markets and that's creating increased interest in the African market. We have seen an increase in the number of legal professionals leaving the UK over the last two years to come back to South Africa. It certainly seems that times are changing; experts say many South Africans will continue to return home, especially as the UK is experiencing further economic uncertainty.

At Robert Walters we are getting more and more enquiries from South African  legal professionals in the UK about the current jobs market and outlook in South Africa. The country is offering much more growth than some of the more traditional markets and that's creating increased interest in the African market.

If you are thinking about returning home, here's some advice from our legal recruitment division to help you secure a job:

The country is offering much more growth than some of the more traditional markets and that's creating increased interest in the African market

  • Attorneys/solicitors with experience in any of the bigger law firms in London are in high demand. It is however essential that they are dual qualified and eligible to work in South Africa.
  • You are more likely to succeed in securing a role if you are in South Africa when apply for opportunities. Getting a job does not happen overnight and prospective employers often want to meet the candidate more than once in person to see if you are the right 'cultural fit'. If you are already in the country it also shows your commitment to stay and start your new career locally.
  • There is a fine line between having experience outside of South African borders and being away too long and losing touch with the relevant South Africa legislation. From experience, candidates with 2 – 5 years' experience abroad are most sought-after.
  • Prepare yourself to start living in South Africa and earning Rand and be realistic about the value of the Rand vs other global currencies. For more detailed information on local legal salaries, access Robert Walters Global Salary Survey.
  • Be mindful that whilst there are opportunities in all the cities around the country, Johannesburg has the highest volume of legal opportunities in the country and most transaction take place here.

Looking to make the next move in your legal career? Search all our current legal jobs available.

Or if you have a friend looking for a new job, why not be rewarded for recommending Robert Walters? Learn more about our excellent referral scheme and refer your friend today.

Know your worth, download the Robert Walters Salary Survey

For more career advice please contact:

Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
nic.sephton-poultney@robertwalters.com
+27 (0) 11 881 2414

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