in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report March 2012

Legal Job Market Report 1st March 2012
February 2012 was again a very busy month in recruitment, but again vacancies are going up and down like a yo yo. One minute we are flat out, the next very quiet. Very different to recruitment of old, where there was a constant drip of vacancies and candidates coming into us. The main thing we are noticing is that there is starting to be a bit of a shortfall in numbers of applicants. I think some candidates have got a bit fed up of constantly applying for vacancies where the goalposts change or the firm decide not to recruit right at the last minute, and others have simply left the profession.
An example of the goalposts changing recently occurred with a firm in the South East who shall remain nameless. Firstly they advertised a vacancy – very simply this was for a solicitor to do a form of litigation. We sent this out to our candidates and sent over CVs. Next, they decided that they no longer needed a solicitor, it required the services of a legal executive. We sent out the vacancy and provided CVs. Thirdly, they decided that not only did they need a legal executive, they needed one who had a following. At this point we gave up, anticipating that if we found one with a following, no doubt the firm would require the candidate to own a private jet, live in the Seychelles and be able to speak Ukranian as well!
This is quite a common problem at the moment, and unfortunately certain law firms are creating a name for themselves in doing this repeatedly. There is a firm in central London where we will not get any candidates applying unless they are recently in to us, simply because the firm have such a bad reputation at changing the goalposts or not getting back to either us or the candidates about interviews. Very frustrating!
If you are planning to recruit, make sure you know what you are looking for before sending out the job specification to agencies and before advertising the vacancy anywhere. This does not apply to any of the firms who have joined us as members because they recruit directly and access full CVs with contact info at an early stage.
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment is now the preferred supplier to over 50 law firms, and they continued to post vacancies with us throughout February.
Locum posts have recently dropped off.
Commercial posts are picking up through our specialist corporate/commercial and in house website – – recent vacancies have been in media law (in house), regulatory posts and general corporate commercial and commercial litigation.
On the high street side we have actually seen recruitment occur in conveyancing, which is good news, plus a wide range of work including family law, property litigation, crime (starting to get very busy this year) and personal injury.
In February we saw 97 new solicitor and legal executive registrations with us.
Jonathan Fagan, MD Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. T: 0207 127 4343 or email:
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