in Employers, Job Applications

Application Forms – Solicitors detest them!

It has become the industry standard that once you are past the training level of the profession, the way to apply for the vast majority of posts, apart from local authority ones, is via a CV. In fact, most firms who have tried to use application forms for posts have met hostility from candidates, whether they realise it or not, because so many have filled out those long waffly forms you see for training contracts that have taken hours of work for no effect at all!

Why should I, as a fully qualified solicitor, bother filling out a form? My work is obvious and my worth to the firm clear. A lot of the HR people at the larger firms do not realise the professional status solicitors place on their work, and why they are prepared to do the job. Solicitors study and train for over 6 years to get to where they are, and if on the high street they can be earning less than a supermarket shelf stacker or car mechanic.

Solicitors have to have some self-worth, and this comes with the status of ‘solicitor’. I know – I am one, and when I qualified I didnt care that I was earning less than a lorry driver – I was a solicitor, and no-one can ever take this away from me (unless I rob a bank etc..!). Solicitors like to command respect, and this is one of the ways they do it.

As a recruitment consultant I have experienced a solicitor candidate walking out of a job interview prior to it commencing because a firm wanted to get her to fill in an application form before seeing them, and she felt that she did not want to be treated like an office cleaner!

Probably a little OTT…..

Author: Jonathan Fagan MIRP MAC Cert RP LLM Solicitor (non-practising) – Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment ( – save time, skip the legal job boards and register with us!  Jonathan Fagan is a specialist legal recruitment consultant, author of the Complete Guide to Writing a Legal CV and the Guide to Interviews for Lawyers (available at our careers shop – He has recruited for law firms across the UK and overseas in all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions that we have not covered above, please email us at

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at