At networking events I am always asked this question, so here is my current answer.
Overall the market is fairly buoyant. Those firms who are doing well are recruiting. At the moment the majority of the roles I am working on are growth roles, which has to be a positive sign.
This month: What does the market mean to me?
Broadly transactional work is up, litigation is down. If you are a commercial property lawyer you have the pick of the crop! Almost all firms that are growing are looking for commercial property lawyers. I have heard of solicitors going for 4 interviews, getting 4 offers and having the heady job of picking the best offer from the bunch (at that point you really need a trusted advisor)! Agriculture within this keeps growing.
Conveyancing roles are active. With an increase in non-qualified paralegals doing the work, qualified legal professionals within conveyancing are very sought after.
Private client is also buoyant. A good range of firms are looking for lawyers from “high street” work to trusts and tax work (which seems to be increasing as a focus). Contentious probate is another growth area as a spin off from the increasing value of the work in this area.
Company commercial / corporate roles have been available in the market for the last 12 months on and off, there are always opportunities but dotted around the region.
Family, Employment, Personal Injury, Crime and Litigation roles are very rare in the market due to all the changes ie: legal aid, tribunal fees, Jackson.
What does this all mean to you? If you work in a transactional area of law and if your current role is not offering your next career step, or the salary you are worth then look around, now is the time to use the market in your favour.
Litigators, sit tight, your time will come! If you can’t, let me know as there is still the odd role popping up and you don’t want to miss them.
Contact me if you want any more information about the market and thanks for reading.