There are an abundance of different websites online to search for legal jobs. These include job boards, agency websites, posting boards and blogs. However, these are the best sites in our experience (apart from our own of course!):
1) Law Society Gazette Online
This site, until very recently, was in our opinion absolutely dreadful. The search facility was appalling and the job vacancies on there were very few and sparse. However, in recent times the Law Society have upped their game. They have invested in the same technology used by Totally Legal and the job board software will look very familiar to anyone who is a regular visitor to job boards. Their rates are very cost effective and this is by far the best source of candidates we have apart from our own websites and databases (which account for the vast majority of our placements as a legal recruitment agency).
The good thing about the Gazette site is that the jobs stay fresh. Agencies and law firms post vacancies on it and they only stay on for a period of one month as the Law Society charge by the month and not by the vacancy.
It is not so good for support staff vacancies which in part is why it is such a useful resource because when a qualified vacancy goes on there we get an extremely good response from qualified staff, unlike on other job boards where there are so many people applying who are totally unsuited for the vacancy. We very often have to sift through a lot of CVs that are irrelevant for the purposes of our recruitment. For example if we post a solicitor vacancy onto Indeed, then chances are that although we are likely to get a response the vast majority of applicants will be completely unsuitable.
Reed is a general job board but one with particularly good quality vacancies on it. The reason they are good quality is that at the moment they are not overloaded with repeated recruitment agency vacancies. This means that instead of the same job being advertised 6 times by different agencies, it is likely to be only advertised once by one agency, which means that you do not get contacted by different agencies all about the same job and trying to vie for your business and making the application to the vacancy. The rates are very cost effective for the agents and again vacancies stayed fresh because they are renewed every 6 weeks. The Reed job board software requires the advertiser to specify a salary range and similarly to the Law Society Gazette, this gives you a good idea as to whether a vacancy is going to be suitable or not.
3) Google Search
If you are looking for a conveyancing job in Hampshire, then the best way of searching for this is simply to write conveyancing job in Hampshire into Google search and searching through the first 30 or 40 results to see what comes up. Even if there is nothing live, it will indicate firms that have recently been looking and advertising, as well as agencies who have had vacancies in Hampshire in recent times. An agency who have had a vacancy in a particular town within the last 6 to 12 months are likely to still have contacts with firms in the town from the last time they were undertaking recruitment there, and as a result this can be a useful exercise in searching for a vacancy.
4) Law firms’ own website (via Law Society Find a Solicitor Service)
Again, this takes a bit of work on your part but if you search the Law Society Find a solicitor website and find a law firm in a certain area, you can then check their website to see if they have a vacancy. A good number of vacancies are not advertised because firms are reluctant to spend money knowing the chances of recruitment are quite slim. Instead, they put out the feelers with a number of agencies and sit back and wait to see if anything comes in. However at the same time they will post the vacancy onto their own website and see if anything comes of it. Conveyancing Solicitors and Wills & Probate Solicitors are a particular problem in the legal recruitment sector at the moment. It is quite time-consuming but it can be an effective way of sourcing work.
5) Visit the Ten Percent Legal Recruitment website
As the author of this article as well as Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment, I have to include the Ten Percent website! Our vacancies are updated every week and we try as much as possible to keep it fresh, although very often we are dependant on law firms to tell us when vacancies have been filled and some are not very good at doing this. The best way of using the Ten Percent site is to register as a candidate. Anything that may be suitable is sent out via an email update to you as soon as it comes in. This is particularly relevant for locum solicitors and legal executives because very often we do not need to advertise these vacancies as we have banks of locums registered with us who get the vacancy through the moment we hear of it. The same applies for legal secretaries (which is becoming a bit of a boom area at the moment). Legal secretary vacancies can be quite quick in their turnaround and as a result it can be worth registering as a candidate rather than trying to search for vacancies because they very often will not get to the advertised stage.
If you had asked me 5 or 6 years ago as to the best source of vacancies, I would have recommended Totally Legal. This and SimplyLawJobs were the two mainstays for searching for legal jobs but unfortunately they seem to have lost their sheen in recent years, turning into a bit of a graveyard for agencies posting the same or similar posts. We have been very surprised this year as to just how few people seem to use Totally Legal and Simply Law Jobs. Whilst it maybe that there are still plenty of vacancies on the site, the vast majority of vacancies appear to be posted by agencies and I wonder whether the regular visitor to the site has become a little bit jaded and simply doesn’t bother applying for the posts they can see there for fear of being stalked by a recruitment consultant! I hope I am pleasantly surprised within the next year (we are currently advertising on the site) and the quality of candidates improves as well as the number of applications, but at the moment for us the Gazette is vastly outperforming Totally Legal in responses to our vacancies.
Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment who have been around for a considerable time using a whole range of different media to advertise vacancies, hence this article. If anyone wishes to comment on each of the entries or add additional information to the site, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.