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Ask us anything: The story of Legally Jobs and how to get a law job without an uncle

Hi, I'm Divya Mehta and I'm heading up Legally Jobs. I would like to share with you some of the things we've been doing and also give some feedback for applicants and general career advice that I hope will be useful.

Transparency revolution

It’s been more than three years since we introduced Legally Jobs. Throughout many tweaks, revamps and integration of new ideas, Legally Jobs has had some great successes.

And unlike other job portals, Legally Jobs actually works: dozens of lawyers from junior to senior levels have joined jobs in companies, law firms or NGOs through Legally Jobs.

The range of opportunities is vast and have included top tier firms and companies, international postings, NGOs, start-ups and small and mid-sized firms and companies.

The idea of Legally Jobs is simple but also a little bit revolutionary:

  1. giving Legally India readers fair access to a variety of serious opportunities without needing a contact or relative, and
  2. giving employers access to our audience of nearly 1 lakh (100,000) professionals so they can hire outside of their immediate network.

Why it works

For a start, every firm or company that posts on Legally Jobs is actually looking to hire someone who applies and fits the role. Sometimes things may not pan out or plans may change, but, unlike on other sites in the old days, there are no recruiters here on CV fishing expeditions or spies that want to tell your employer that you are looking to leave.

For employers and law firms, the benefit is also obvious: Legally Jobs sifts out many irrelevant applications automatically or in some cases manually, so the law firm or company can get down to the actual hiring process rather than drowning under a flood of CVs.

We’ve also made sure that anything confidential or sensitive that happens at Legally Jobs remains completely confidential, and of course separate and independent from Legally India editorial.

In return Legally Jobs takes a small commission or a flat rate starting at Rs 10,000, depending on our involvement, with large discounts available to NGOs and the like.

If you need to hire, please let me know at or by phone on 099 99 16 8546.

Click here to get the latest legal jobs directly into your email inbox (unsubscribe anytime)

Applications without uncle

With the introductions out of the way, allow me to explain how prospective candidates who are looking for a change can get the most out of applying to firms by way of direct application or via Legally Jobs (obviously we’d highly recommend the latter if we have a position listed).

Speculative applications to random law firms can work, but only in the rarest of cases in my experience. If you are lucky and you write an email and covering letter to a partner who’s currently looking to hire, it may just work.

Very rarely, if your background is hugely impressive, speculative applications by email can work but even then you must take care of the below.

But the better thing to do, if you want to do it yourself, is to network like crazy (but tastefully). Get to know people in the industry, use any of your contacts in or near the place you are trying to approach to get an introduction.

The importance of being lettered

To begin with, it is absolutely vital that you write a great cover letter, which gives the recruiter a synopsis of your resume at a glance.

In our experience, this is the primary determining factor for employers in short-listing a profile.

It is also the primary way that a candidate can prove that they have good English language and communication skills, which is the most common minimum requirement of almost every employer in the legal space, I’ve found.

A cover letter which says:

“I wish to apply in your esteemed organization. In view of the same, please find enclosed my resume. Thanking you, XYZ”

is great evidence for terrible communication skills, and it has no novelty or freshness to the eye of a jaded employer. Avoid it like the plague.

And proof read your cover letter for typos obsessively!

Read some of Legally India’s careers counsel columns for more, and in particular the posts on how to write a cover letter, how not to write one.

CV power

A resume should be crisp, clearly stating your updated contact details, relevant work experience and qualifications.

Altogether this should be less than two pages, or three pages at the absolute most.

More information available in Legally India’s careers counsel columns again, and the posts on writing the perfect CV.

Comprehending opportunities properly

We have found that candidates – both on the job portal or when applying directly to firms – may apply for jobs without even reading the job description fully or being aware of the organisation they’re going for.

Sometimes a fresher may apply for a senior associate position, or a person with a litigation background may write to a corporate partner.

In most cases this is a guaranteed red flag for recruiters or employers, and apart from having wasted 5 minutes of your time and 10 seconds of theirs, it will not get you anything.

Therefore always make sure you know the place you are applying to, and its priorities, inside out. And just knowing that it is an esteemed law firm or company, is NOT enough. You want to know who runs the firm, who does what, where they have offices, where they are strong and where they are weak. Legally India is a good place for preliminary research, as are online legal directories.

Good luck!

Some of the above are some basic measures which I hope will help you in bagging that first interview and that job you deserve.

I hope that you found this useful and that Legally Jobs will continue being a helpful job hunting resource. It is our endeavour to keep improving the experience and to keep adding new features and a wider variety of jobs. (we have a dearth of internships at the moment, for example, and hope to keep adding more.)

Please feel free to ask me any question in the comments below this article and I'll be happy to respond directly.

If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on +91 999 91 68 546 or via email on

Click here for the latest legal jobs by email

Please visit http://jobs.legallyindia.com for the latest legal jobs.

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