Law firms hire from the most limited university pool, research finds

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By Polly Botsford on

And they spend the most amount of money in the process


Law firms recruit graduates from, typically, only 19 different universities compared to accountancy and other professional services firms which recruit from around 50 universities, according to a recent survey.

Moreover, firms spend on average £6,811 per hire compared with the average graduate hire-spend of £3,383.


The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) report — which surveys 208 employers in the United Kingdom from 17 different sectors — also shows that law firms are among those employers which visit the least number of universities during the recruitment process. Law firms typically visit 17 universities, only marginally more than investment banking firms which visit only 12 institutions.

There may be a logical explanation for this, however, as AGR’s chief executive, Stephen Isherwood, tells Legal Cheek:

Unlike other sectors in the UK, law firms recruit from all disciplines. This means they are are more likely to target their marketing efforts at certain universities rather than just recruiting by discipline.

Isherwood says that the headline figure of 19 universities from which firms hire is an average so that larger firms may well be recruiting from 30 or 40 different universities.

The report also highlights the ever-growing use of video interviews as part of the recruitment experience, including by law firms. Around 42% of firms surveyed currently use Skype or other video-based interviews.


The report quotes one law firm which lists a number of benefits of video interviewing including flexibility and time-saving but also says that it ticks the diversity box:

[Video-interviewing] increases the number of candidates we take through from application form stage and thus increases the diversity of individuals who we see.