in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Report – September 4th 2013

Job Market Update – September 4th
The legal job market has been mixed in August. We suspect that the lack of a continued rise in recruitment numbers relates to the following things:

  1. Partners’ Holidays. Everything always seems to stop at some firms until mid-September. Partners return to work after lying on the beach thinking about how to increase profits and we get lots of phone calls looking for extra staff.
  2. Spouse Job Posting. At smaller firms Partners’ wives/husbands decide that their spouse needs an extra pair of hands. The call is made at the end of July prior to a holiday. After the holiday the vacancy disappears as the partner (and their spouse) realises the effect the recruitment will have on profits.
  3. Brainstorming In House. Some posts are sent in to us from in house legal departments following a brainstorming session in a quiet period in July. In September the board meet to veto the idea and the vacancy is indicated as filled.
  4. Housing Market Falls. In the summer the market drops off a bit. Buyers, sellers and conveyancers all go on holiday, which means that the work drops off and recruitment no longer seems so urgent.
  5. The National Trust. In August Lawyers have better things to think about than recruitment, including days out to the zoo, local museums and National Trust properties. It is the school holidays after all!

Mid-September tends to be a busier month as a result of the above, when lawyers get back to work.

August has seen the following occur so far:

  1. Family Solicitors – redundancies still occurring in all areas outside London. How the Cooperative Legal Services ever thought they could make money by obtaining an LSC franchise in family law is just beyond me.
  2. Increase in locum availability from the last week of August. Decrease in locum assignments.
  3. Candidate registrations for locum work are up. New permanent solicitor registrations are up slightly (92 new candidates in August compared with 82 in July).
  4. Vacancy posting increased at the start of August before tailing off as we get into the autumn. Main activity has been residential conveyancing followed by wills & probate and commercial property. No personal injury (apart from a locum role) and the same for family law (excluding LSC family supervisor recruitment in London).

Report written by Jonathan Fagan, MD and solicitor (non-practising) at Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment.

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