In respect to managing a Job Search, there are 5 main channels for this:

1. Advertised Vacancy Applications
2. Recruitment Consultants
3. Connections & Networking
4. Speculative Approaches
5. Work Experience

The first two are the primary method for accessing the advertised job market.

The other three are the primary methods for accessing the unadvertised (hidden) job market.

1. Advertised Vacancy Applications

Many job vacancies are filled via formal advertising campaigns. These adverts are usually placed online and also in some cases in offline media such as the legal press.

The ads are placed either by recruitment consultants or by direct employers (i.e. firms or in-house departments, or the HR teams there).

Online Legal Job Vacancy Websites

Set up job alert emails at the most relevant online job boards.

I recommend the following specialist legal jobs boards as a minimum:

You can also look at these additional job sites:

Google Alerts

In addition to subscribing to the main legal job websites, I recommend you set up a catch all alert for other jobs that may be advertised elsewhere.

To do this my preference is to use Google Alerts. Essentially, it means you can receive an email alert every time Google adds some new content to it’s search engine in connection with a specific search term. It takes the legwork out of searching Google regularly on the off-chance new job vacancies have been posted online that you haven’t yet seen.

So, for example, you can set up a Google Alert for the search term “intellectual property solicitor job vacancy”. You will then receive an email from Google every time it adds a related piece of content to its search engine. This should pick up all new job vacancy adverts posted online on any website.

I recommend you set up multiple alerts for all the variations of search terms that might relate to your targeted jobs.

You can access Google Alerts here:

To set up your own tailored alerts you can find instructions here:

If you’re still struggling, search on YouTube as there are plenty of videos showing how to do this.

Legal Press

Here is a list of the legal press you should be reviewing each time a new issue is published:

1. Law Society Gazette [weekly]

2. The Lawyer [weekly]

3. Legal Week [daily]

Law Society Gazette

Solicitors with a practising certificate get a print copy of the Gazette free of charge.

Alternatively, some libraries and universities may have a print copy so check that out.

If you are unable to find a print copy you can download a free PDF copy each week here:

The jobs adverts are towards the back.

Perhaps a better way is to track the latest job ads online here:

The best way to track jobs to ensure you don't miss any is to set up email alerts here:

You can create up to 5 different email alerts.

The Lawyer

You can see the subscription plans here:

If you register with them you can access the Jobs Board free of charge.

You can access the jobs here:

Again you can register for email alerts - the system is the same as the one for the Law Society Gazette jobs (but the jobs will be different).

Legal Week

An online magazine publishing news about the legal profession and law firms, as well as jobs.

Digital Access = £29.17/Month (see:

You can read 5 articles every 30 days for free - click on an article on the main website and register when prompted -

You can access the jobs here:

The best way to track jobs to ensure you don't miss any is to set up email alerts here:

You can create up to 5 different email alerts.

2. Recruitment Consultants

Advertised Vacancies

Most recruitment consultants will advertise their vacancies on the main online legal job boards and/or in the legal press.

If you are searching in a specific geographical area you might also search for the most relevant local legal recruitment consultants online. You can then see if they have email job alerts for the jobs they are advertising for their clients - not all will have, so you would need to join the database for each one (see below).

For example in Manchester:

Join Their Database

To find suitable recruitment agencies to contact you can Google them in your area. Alternatively, take a look at the main online legal job websites and identify which recruitment agencies are advertising positions similar to those you are looking for.

You can contact recruitment consultants with a general enquiry about the sort of work you are looking for.

If that is the type of work they help their clients recruit for they will put you on their database and make a note of the type of roles you are looking for.

They will then get in touch with you as and when they are instructed by their clients to find candidates for a vacancy that matches your interests.

Myths & Realities

Many candidates have a misconception that recruitment consultants somehow take candidates on and represent them. It is thought the consultant will promote the candidate to their clients and try to find the candidate a job. Whilst this is not wholly untrue its quite far off the mark.

Recruitment consultants find people for jobs, not jobs for people. They work for the clients looking to fill vacancies not for the candidates looking for a job.

That said, there are circumstances where recruitment consultants will have conversations with their clients about strong candidates. These will be part of their usual dealings with their clients and will most likely be quite an informal mention of the candidate and a summary of their background. If the client thinks they might have a vacancy coming up in the future or a potential staffing need at some point they might ask to find out more about the candidate and even set up an initial meeting.

So it is worth registering with various recruitment consultants and asking them to mention you to the clients you are a good fit for.

However, do not expect too much or give the consultant a hard time if they don't find you a job. It is for you to find your own job, usually via the job ads that recruitment consultants or the employers themselves publish.

3. Connections & Networking

Some of the work you do at the exploration stage will revolve around conversations with a variety of people.

Whilst the primary purpose of those conversations at that stage was research and information gathering, the secondary purpose was making and strengthening connections in your network.

It is this network and the conversations you have with individuals in it that will help you access the hidden job market.

You will find that conversations sometimes naturally lead to discussions about possible jobs. Or that someone in your network will get in touch out of the blue with a new opportunity they have become aware of.

4. Speculative Approaches

This one speaks for itself and is very much a numbers game.

I don't recommend spending much time on it. It's best to save it for when you identify a perfect organisation for you and your skills but you don't have any way of getting a warm introduction to someone who works there to set up an informational interview meeting.

5. Work Experience

As well as being the best way to research a role and organisation, gaining work experience is also a great way to impress and sell yourself into a more permanent job.

As well as the more formal work experience placements and internship route, it is also possible to get exposure to sectors, roles and people via volunteering opportunities. Or you can offer to volunteer your time to an organisation on a more informal basis to learn more about what they do.