Working in Norwich
The largest sectors for employment in Norwich are the business and financial firms, but given the large amount of agriculture and coastline, there are some unique opportunities for lawyers to specialise in rural matters, from within the hub of a significant city.
The agricultural sector in Norfolk makes up for 5% of the total agriculture across the country - the largest proportion. Therefore, opportunities to specialise in agricultural law are more frequent if you practice in Norwich.
Technological and skills-based industries are also growing in Norwich, offering opportunities to work alongside and on behalf of small and medium businesses as they become established within the city. The economy is stimulated by the population of graduates from the University of East Anglia who choose to stay on in the city, seeking professions close to their former University.
Firms range from being small, high-street outfits, to regional chains serving the entirety of Norfolk and East Anglia. A number of larger firms also have outfits in Norwich, giving you the chance to work for a big-fish law firm, on work pertaining specifically to Norwich and East Anglia’s needs. Norwich has a Growth Deal with the government, which will see significant investment in everything from business growth and construction to infrastructure and transport. As such, there will no doubt be an increase in the need for employment, construction and real estate lawyers in the region.
Norwich has long been known as a literary hub, with the university hosting the first creative writing course in the country, and the city becoming the first UNESCO City of Literature back in 2012. This cumulates in the Norwich Literary Festival: held annually, it is a collective appreciation of literature across the city, with this years’ festival set to host the likes of Stephen Fry and Jon Snow.
You’ll quickly notice the close community feel of Norwich: it’s geographical position to the East makes it off the beaten track, so a lot of residents live and work close by to the city. Norwich perfectly balances urban convenience with its beautiful rural surroundings; you’ll have the option to live in a close-knit suburb away from the buzz of the city, or alternatively you could live centrally and take advantage of the peace and quiet of the coast or countryside at weekends. It’s the perfect way to get the best of both worlds.
Fans of architecture will love the Victorian Gothic St John the Baptist Cathedral, as well as the old city walls, the castle, and the art nouveau Royal Arcade. If you prefer something a little more contemporary, check out the University of East Anglia’s campus - its postmodern brutalist style is enjoying a renaissance at present, and UEA has firmly placed Norwich on the modern architecture map.
You’ll never be far from the Norwich coast, where you’ll be able to witness panoramic sunsets in the famously wide Norfolk skies, or embark on a coastal walk. If you’re looking for a dose of city life with that elusive close proximity to natural beauty, Norwich could be for you.
- Enjoy an evening at the Birdcage, a craft ale bar with everything from life drawing classes to open mic nights. On Fridays, you can eat fish and chips from the neighbouring Grosvenor Fish Bar!
- If cocktails are more your thing, you can’t go wrong at Mr Postles Apothecary, with its intriguing flavours and quirky decor.
- Check out Norwich market - as the largest open air market in the country, you’re guaranteed to find many a bargain.
- Enjoy a break from the stress of life by going on the Norfolk Broads in a canal boat. Stop off at a pub or two if you please!
- Enjoy a weird and wonderful waffle combination at the Waffle House in Norwich’s centre. The Hummus and Avocado variety comes highly recommended!
- Don your green and yellow glad rags to check out a Canarys game at Carrow Road.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to get around Norwich, and Norfolk in general, due to the wide flat roads. You’ll find a number of buses and trains serve the city, linking it to the wider country and suburban areas as well. Alternatively, you can get the park and ride into the city centre from afar.
You can reach London by train in just under two hours - from there, the rest of the country stands to be very accessible, including major airports and international rail services if you need to get further afield. Alternatively, Norwich has its own small international airport, which can connect you to northerly points such as Scotland, as well as international destinations across Europe.
Top five reasons to live and work in Norwich as a junior lawyer
With a beautiful coastline, a bustling market and a community feel, Norwich is a great place to start your law career. Ross Buckingham and Chris Brand of Mills & Reeve share their top five reasons to live and work in Norwich.