in Legal Job Market Reports

Legal Job Market Update October 5th 2016

Legal Job Market Update
September 2016 has been a very mixed month, with heavy bursts of work intertwined with plenty of opportunities for DIY outside in glorious sunshine! The legal job market remains very unbalanced.

Key points for September as follows:

The demand for Residential Conveyancing locum lawyers remains low although it has picked up again after the dramatic fall in June/July.
Permanent recruitment has increased.
Family Solicitors, particularly any with LAA experience, are few and far between.
Wills and Probate roles have increased and private client solicitors remain in demand.
Commercial Property roles have remained elusive.
Litigation still fairly busy.
We are seeing a number of redundancies in commercial practices.
London remains quiet, other areas are generally busy.

We continued to see an increase in enquiries about our fixed fee recruitment – unlimited locum and permanent recruitment for a monthly fee – as firms look to save money and restrict future costs. In the time we have been operating the scheme we have found that membership increases when uncertainty in the market goes up.

A summary of work we did in September is below.

September 2016 – Summary:
* Permanent vacancies up
* Locum assignments up
* Conveyancing vacancies – some
* Commercial Property vacancies – very few
* Wills & Probate vacancies – lots
* Commercial and Civil Litigation vacancies – some
* Corporate Commercial and In House vacancies – few
* Family vacancies – some
* Market outlook – vacancies will increase start to decline in October before dropping off for Christmas. This is the standard recruitment cycle.

Current live vacancies: 669
New permanent vacancies added in September: 43
New locum vacancies added in July/August: 47
New candidates registering: 99
Average ‘Job Strength Factor’ for new vacancies September: 3.5 (Good)

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, both containing 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