The Law Society's Annual Statistical Report was published on April 17th and many commentators were suggesting that we are seeing the first signs of the widely predicted decline in practising Solicitor numbers. Admittedly, the figures are over nine months old but since then, we have to say, the legal sector has not seen anything to suggest the downward trend is a blip.
Although the numbers of Solicitors on the Roll as of July 2012 increased by 4% to 165,971. Private Practice Solicitor numbers dropped 23% to 87,768 which contrasts with an increase of 1.4% in 2011 and 1.9% in 2010. The report also showed the number of admissions down by nearly 25% at 6,330 and Training Contracts showing a 10.51% reverse from 5,441 to 4,869.
So what impact has it had on our Recruiters?
Amy Openshaw, Team Manager of our North West Private Practice team has noticed a difference. "Firms are being very tough with their selection process which is making it difficult for even the best candidates to secure an interview. I am going that extra mile for my best applicants; the close relationship I have with my hiring clients means they trust my judgement which can open doors that may otherwise have been closed."
Amy's patch includes Family and Personal Injury and even though the number of jobs she has been working on has dropped off compared to the first quarter of 2012, the team have actually made more placements.
In contrast, Nicola Hook, a Senior Recruitment Consultant on our London team, has never been busier and wants to hear from more candidates at all levels. "We have seen a marked increase recently in the number of Property vacancies not only in London but also in the Home Counties. This is particularly evidenced by the number of new clients who have contacted us directly in recent weeks with new opportunities in both Commercial and Residential Property."
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