HR in law: Latest trends


Welcome to the spring issue of Totum’s dedicated HR newsletter. The year has kicked off with a good mixture of junior and senior roles, both replacements and newly created jobs. Good recruitment advisors are always being sought, with responsibilities including managing the end-to-end recruitment process, and using social media as an effective recruitment tool...  

Other trends are as follows:


Project / change management roles

  • Law firms are involved in on-going change and innovation programmes. New frameworks and processes are critical to success – and firms know they need project and change management teams to help deliver these as well as broader organisational change. Expertise for these newer roles in law can come from a variety of backgrounds including law, but new skills are also coming in from other sectors including from consulting backgrounds and corporate and public-sector environments. Click here to find out more from our consultant Julius Reeves, who is dedicated to these new and emerging roles in law.

Working with firms in their infancy

  • We are spending more time helping firms recruiting new people at the top – Heads of HR, but also senior positions in areas like L&D and recruitment. These are newly created senior positions in firms with typically 100+ staff that want to double their size in a short time-frame. Such recruits are brought in to review the business and highlight what is needed to reach that objective. They have considerable responsibility to shape and build their own teams – which in turn increases opportunities for more junior professionals. Totum is often brought in to help with this further team development too.

HR Directors

  • We have seen some big changes at director level among some of the leading international firms. These placements typically come at the same time as firms embark on, or step up, change programmes, allowing the successful candidate to drive an HR agenda that supports and enhances new strategic objectives. It’s a great opportunity for senior HR professionals to make a real impact on the business, while playing a critical role supporting people development at a time of rapid evolution.


  • There is continued interest in wellness, with firms focusing on both physical and mental health. Quite often this area is typically headed up by consultants, but we are increasingly seeing responsibility for wellness added as part of HR or L&D roles. We will report back on progress here in due course – watch this space!

For candidates


We are always looking for candidates who have commercial and strategic expertise, and a solid background in whatever discipline they are specialising in e.g. HR/Talent/Recruitment/L&D/Comp&Bens.

We are not just looking for candidates experienced in law, we are also always interested in talking to candidates from other sectors such as finance, professional services, banking and corporate. So, if you are interested in shifting to law, don’t feel that your non-law background necessarily counts you out. Talk to us and we can provide guidance that will help.

This also goes to all of you who are interested in discussing your career options. Don’t feel we are only relevant for when you are actively seeking work. We are advisors too and are always happy to chat through market trends or career considerations more broadly.

If you would be interested in having a chat about any aspect of your career going forwards, please don’t hesitate to drop us a line.

Laura McNair




Could you be a law firm's operational backbone?
A growing area for Totum is business management. We look at the roles on offer, and what kind of candidate suits the broad-ranging business manager remit.



Entering the world of IP
We talk to business professionals including Polly Shaw, Head of HR at Dehns, about the growth of business services in the IP sector and the opportunities this brings to business services professionals.



Making a success of flexible working
We talk to Rachel Street, Director of People and Talent Development at RPC, about how senior business services roles at RPC are becoming more flexible. 




Interim Recruitment Adviser
Working  with the Head of Recruitment at this leading law firm, you will be responsible for business services recruitment across the firm, as well as paralegals. 

Read more..

EMEA HR Manager
To be a core member of a global HR team at this leading law firm, heading up the people agenda for a dedicated client group to develop, engage and progress associates and counsel. 

Read more..



A significant number of our candidates come via referrals from clients and candidates. If you know a friend or colleague who might be appropriate for the roles we handle, please let us know. If we place these people, we would like you to benefit. 
Click here for more details.



For further information on our expertise or for more detail of specific opportunities in Totum's HR function, please contact Laura McNair.


Alternatively contact Roisin Ashmore, who specialises in roles up to HR Manager level.




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