in Changing Jobs

How to become a legal recruitment consultant

This article also applies to recruitment consultant jobs generally. Becoming a legal recruitment consultant is a little like joining the Dark Side in Star Wars – it involves professionals giving up a well paid job with status to take on what is, in essence, a sales position, and very often viewed as a step down the career ladder rather than up it.

What do you need to become a recruitment consultant?

Qualification-wise – none, but I don’t think anyone less than graduate level for legal recruitment will find it very easy, as it involves a high level of communication with solicitors and legal executives, and you need to be able to empathise with them, which can be very hard work indeed at times!

Skills wise?

Patience (by the bucket load) – this is a career that offers good rewards if you are able to gloss over the bad times and remember only the good times. At present for example we are going through lean period, which is not so bad as we have been busy in recent months. However unlike a professional post, you do look at work and sometimes wonder where you are going to get your next meal from! Ability to think outside the box – quite a few of our introductions are as a result of unusual introductions which have come solely from our insider knowledge of the legal profession and generating leads where others have not. Flexibility – need to be able to work on your own and with bucket loads of initiative – there is no structure to recruitment – you generate the work, you arrange how often you do this, and you need to keep tabs on everything yourself often.

How do you find work?

Often the larger companies recruit former trade people and dangle money in front of them to get them through the doors. You dont need any training as such, but it sure helps! The REC is the main recognised trade body, and their website is – I did the Certificate of Recruitment Practice after being in the business for a number of years, and it would have been very helpful to have done it prior to joining the trade, with hindsight!

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. 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