in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report dated 2nd February 2016

Job Market Report dated 2nd February – also published in the Legal Recruitment News at

January 2016 has been a busy month in the sense that it has included a large number of permanent vacancies posted; the usual burst of activity after Christmas.

Very often this is caused by the partners at firms having time off and the chance to think about recruitment for the coming months, and so we get a good number of vacancies from our Ten-Percent Unlimited member firms being added to the system. To give you an idea of numbers, we have had 5 commercial property roles, 23 conveyancing posts, 4 wills & probate, 9 support roles, 1 family post, 2 legal cashiers and 2 company commercial posts.

Reed and other job boards every year describe a day in January as being by far the busiest for job hunting – Blue Monday – the 3rd Monday in the month. Personally I have always thought this is just a cunning marketing ploy so this year we checked the figures out. On Monday 18th January we had 46,000 hits on our website. This is not bad, but the following Wednesday we had 48,000 hits and other days at a similar level. So not much difference really! It is a good marketing ploy though – always gets plenty of coverage in the media..

It is also the time of year when a few law firms of smaller size ‘try it out’ and call senior candidates for interview for posts advertised at specific vacancy levels, before pitching a profit share arrangement to them in the hope that someone likes them and joins with a following. One of these turned out to be a firm with links to a crime outfit and claiming to be dealing with super yacht sales! The mind boggles..

A summary of work we did in January is below.

January 2016 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* Conveyancing vacancies – busy
* Commercial Property vacancies – some
* Wills & Probate vacancies – some
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – few
* Family vacancies – very few
* Market outlook – work will be increasing into February and March 2016.

Current live vacancies: 612
New permanent vacancies added in December: 41
New locum vacancies added in December: 21
New candidates registering: 110
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies December: 3.2 (OK)

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment publishes the number of new vacancies, new candidates and indicate the increase or decrease from the previous month. We aim to assist the legal profession by showing the market from our perspective. Our clients tend to be high street law firms and smaller sized commercial practices.
The average job strength gives a good indication of the market because:
1. A Poor Job Strength on vacancies indicates a struggling market. When trade is bad, employers seek options for increasing turnover which involve sourcing candidates with their own following and no salary.
2. A Strong Job Strength on vacancies indicates a buoyant market, particularly if it is in connection with an increase in numbers of new vacancies.
Vacancies are each graded 1-5, with 5 being a very strong vacancy and 1 being a very weak vacancy.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and regularly writes for the Ten-Percent website and the Legal Recruitment blog, an award-winning selection of articles and features on legal recruitment and the legal profession. You can contact Jonathan 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