This Step looks at why research is so fundamental at all stages of the recruitment process and how research can help you find vacancies and opportunities within the legal market.
Updated Resource Book coming soon
Law practice areas and sectors
Look at the legal practice areas section of our site which includes links to relevant specialist publications or websites. This will give you an idea of what it is like to work in various areas of law.
Read graduate guides to the legal profession such as Chambers Student Guide, Target Law and LawCareers.Net.
Law firms, chambers and leading individuals
Legal recruiters tell us that one of the main reasons that applications fail is because candidates have failed to carry out sufficient research to enable them to target their applications correctly. Therefore, researching the law firms and chambers you are interested in is a high priority.
There are hundreds of potential legal recruiters, not just the leading firms and chambers, so don’t forget to research all relevant opportunities.
Your research can be done by looking at the organisation’s website as well as the following sources;
- Graduate guides – Useful for larger firms and chambers. Take a look at Chambers Student Guide, Target Law and LawCareers.Net.
- Client directories – Aimed at those seeking legal advisors and are therefore not restricted to organisations which are currently recruiting – Chambers UK and Legal 500 are two of the best known.
- Find a solicitor – The Law Society has information about every practising solicitor and the firms they work in.
- Legal press – Provides information on firms and chambers. Try reading The Lawyer, Legal Week and The Law Society Gazette. For the Bar, key publications are the Counsel Magazine and the New Law Journal (both of these have limited free access to their content online).
Finding legal vacancies
There is no single place where all training opportunities are advertised, however there are a number of key resources you should be familiar with, including:
- Employability Portal – Once you accept a place with us you will have access to our password protected vacancy database.
- Vacancies with larger recruiters – Look at Chambers Student Guide, Target Law, LawCareers.Net.
- Contract vacancies - The Law Society Gazette sometimes has training contract vacancies (usually in smaller firms and local government), as do the other legal press publications mentioned above.
- Email alerts – Check employers’ websites on a regular basis. Some allow you to sign up for email alerts to let you know when there is a new vacancy.
Obviously, you can make direct and speculative applications to organisations which are not currently advertising, that you have an interest in.
For the Bar, all first and second 6 pupillages must be advertised on the Pupillage Gateway, although they may also be advertised elsewhere.
The checklist below can be used as a guide to the type of information you should know about your chosen recruiters. In this instance for training positions at law firms, but the principles are applicable to all legal organisations and legal roles.
Download Law Firm Research Checklist ➔
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm interested in a particular area of law. How do I find a list of firms and chamber in this area?
The client guides, such as Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 contains information about the leading firms and chambers, grouping them according to specialist practice areas. For smaller firms, look at the Find a Solicitor website and the Pupillage Gateway site has a lot of information about recruiting chambers.
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