Step 4: Researching legal recruiters

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.

Step 4 Resource book

From researching the profession as a whole to looking at practice areas, specific organisations and even individual lawyers, our resource book provides a comprehensive guide to what you should be researching, when you should be doing it and which resources are available.


We also look at how these research sources can be invaluable when it comes to finding vacancies.

Step 4 Weblinks

Below is a list of key websites which may be useful for those researching the legal profession
The Association of Women Barristers:

The Bar Council: 
The website of the Bar Council, the representative body of the Bar with links to Bar associations:

The Bar Directory: 
Online access to the Bar Council’s Bar Directory

The Bar Standards Board: 
The Bar Standards Board – the regulatory body for the Bar which also oversees the training, qualification and entry into the profession.

Barristers Association for Local Government and Public Service:

Chambers and Partners: 
The Chambers and Partners website allows online access to a range of publications including the Chambers UK client guide and Chambers Student Guide.

Chancery Bar Association:

Commercial Bar Association:

Commerce & Industry group: 
Group run by and for practitioners working in-house.

The Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA):

Counsel Magazine: 
Counsel is the monthly Journal of the Bar of England and Wales.

Criminal Bar Association:

Crown Prosecution Service: 
The website for the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Economist:

Government Legal Service: 
The website for the GLS: the central recruitment site for trainee solicitors and pupils into government departments.

The Guardian:

Intellectual Property Bar Association:

Find a Solicitor: 
The online version of the Law Society’s Directory of Solicitors.

The FT:

Junior Lawyers Division:  
Formerly the Trainee Solicitors’ Group: run by and for students, trainees and junior solicitor. There are a range of local groups (for the nearest group see the main website), events and information.

The Law Society: 
The representative body for the solicitors’ profession: this site contains links to various membership groups, information about practice areas and legal developments. This site also houses the Find a Solicitor database.

Law Society Gazette: 
Weekly magazine published by the Law Society with legal news, views and vacancies.

An extremely comprehensive resource for prospective lawyers, containing a wealth of advice, guidance and news (you can sign up for a regular newsletter). It also contains details of courses and information on law firms, chambers, vacancies and much more.

The Lawyer: 
The lawyer is one of the main weekly legal magazines. The online site is free and also provides a daily e-mail alert.

News and information aimed at students planning a career in the Law (sister site of the Lawyer).

The Legal 500: 
Website for the Legal 500 client directories.

Legal Action Group - 
A national charity which campaigns for equal justice and supports activity in publicly funded legal work. Accompanies the magazine, Legal Action, which is available on subscription. 

Legal Aid Agency:
The Legal Aid Agency replaced the Legal Services Commission on 1 April 2013.  It commissions and procures legal aid services from providers (solicitors, barristers and the not-for-profit sector).

Legal Aid Practitioners Group - 
Represents solicitors working in legal aid as a support and lobbying organisation: the site has useful news and information on what is happening in the legal field.

Legal Business:
The journal most used by senior members of the profession to gauge the effectiveness of their firm and their rivals within the legal market-place.

Legal Week: 
The online site for the Legal Week magazine.

Local Government Jobs: 
The official recruitment site for local government, with information and searchable vacancy database for training contracts and legal assistant positions in local government.

Personal Injuries Bar Association:

Private Client Section of the Law Society (formerly Probate Section) -
Covers the practice areas of wills, probate, financial planning and tax, trusts, Court of Protection and estate administration.

Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA):

Prospects Law:
The Graduate Careers website that gives information on employers, Training Contracts and how to go about getting a graduate career in law.

The Pupillage Gateway: 
The official site for advertising all pupillages and the site for online pupillage applications (March 2013 onwards).

Resolution - 
Formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association, the website provides details of family law solicitors by region plus a useful list of fact sheets on key issues such as divorce and mediation.

Revenue Bar Association:

Sole Practitioners’ Group: 
Magazine and website for sole practitioners.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority: 
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is the regulatory body for the solicitor profession responsible for legal training.

Target Law: 
A graduate careers website with online information from Target law: careers advice and information across the graduate recruitment field but with a focus on key areas such as law.

The Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook:
A comprehensive resource of over 1,000 firms offering training contracts; and details of chambers offering pupillages. Available to order online, or free from most University Careers Services.

Step 4 Workshop

Our online workshop gives you an overview of the research you will need to do to succeed in the legal recruitment process.

You can also read the transcript here.

Step 4 Activities

If you are starting to identify organisations to apply to, or you have already applied and want to check your knowledge prior to interview, our checklist activity will help.

Download our 'law firm checklist' here

Step 4 FAQs

Researching employers

How do I find out about a specific practice area?

Where can I find a list of firms that specialise in a particular area of law?

There is a lot of literature on the big City firms: how do I find out about the smaller firms?

Where can I find information about international firms and firms with branches in other countries?

Q. How do I find out about a specific practice area?

A. In addition to information on our website, other useful sources include Chambers & Partners, target law and - links to these can be found on our weblinks page.

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Q. Where can I find a list of firms that specialise in a particular area of law?

A. Chambers and Partners ( lists firms according to specialist areas. The Legal 500 ( contains information about the leading firms according to specialist areas by regions. The ‘Find a Solicitor’ function on the Law Society’s website ( also allows you to search by area of law.

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Q. There is a lot of literature on the big City firms: how do I find out about the smaller firms? 

A. The ‘Find a Solicitor’ function on the Law Society’s website ( allows you to search by area of law and geographical location. Waterlow Legal ( allows you to search the directory by location, area of practice, legal franchises, number of partners and so on.

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Q. Where can I find information about international firms and firms with branches in other countries?

A. Look on the student part of under global opportunities. In the ‘Find a Solicitor’ section of you can search by firm name or country, or via other keywords.

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Step 4 In brief

For a quick guide to what you should be researching and the resources available, download our ‘in brief’ guide.

Practice areas

Information on different areas of the law: what it covers, what it's like in practice, current issues, and further information.

Case studies

University staff pass on their experience of what it's like to work as a lawyer in practice.