in Job Applications

Is the Legal Job Market Cyclical?

We notice whenever there is World Cup, a serious incident in world politics, Christmas Parties, Christmas shopping, New Years resolution season, NQ qualification season and so forth that the legal job market in a good year will suddenly get very busy or very quiet.

The answer therefore is yes! The year always starts fairly slowly – over the Xmas break some solicitors have a think about their current legal job, and have a trawl of the legal recruitment consultancies. We get registrations from all over the UK.

After the New Year, and when everyone has that depressing moment when they have to go back to work, we get the New Year Resolution candidates registering – wanting a change, or just seeing what the grass is like on the other side of the fence. This carries on for a few weeks into February, when the market picks up to its maximum peak, before quietening down for the half term.

Following this, the market is busy again until Easter and the end of the tax year in April. The first two weeks of April are always very quiet, as the firms are collecting everything together for the year end, but this does not last long. May, June and July are always our busiest three months of the year, before the summer holidays start to kick in for August. The market again goes quiet, before September and October start in earnest, and the third recruitment season of the year comes into play, before sliding off again as Christmas shopping season starts.

Each season comes with different types of candidates, and at certain times of the year we can almost guess how many applications a candidate has made before they have registered with us as it is often linked to the season and the cyclical nature of the recruitment market! The worst time for us is the FIFA World Cup every four years (if one of the Home Nations is actually involved). It seems to finish off interviews and job offers as everyone has something more interesting to do…

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