As they say in the country, if you want to catch a big fish, you have to drop your hook where he lives.

So it is that the Legal Services Corp., still seeking a president after the abrupt departure of Donald P. Bogard in January, has advertised the opening in Human Events, a conservative weekly President Reagan calls his favorite newspaper.

LSC officials said yesterday that the ad is "a little bit different," but added that it wasn't the corporation's sole recruitment effort.

Spokesman James Streeter said word of the vacancy also has been circulated widely through state and county bar associations, and that ads were placed in two other publications: The National Law Journal and The Wall Street Journal.

The Human Events ad cost $186, Streeter said, compared with $6,500 for two ads in The Wall Street Journal and $1,700 for one ad in The National Law Journal.

The LSC, a semi-independent corporation charged with providing legal assistance to poor people, was one of the bloodiest ideological battlegrounds of the administration's first four years. Reagan made no secret of his desire to abolish the agency or shift its focus away from what one Reagan board appointee called "ideological joy riding" by legal activists and social reformers.

This led to some fireworks in Congress, which eventually placed several restrictions on the authority of the LSC board and president, including their ability to terminate grants to legal-aid programs.

With that in mind, the ad in Human Events suggests that "experience with Congress" is a desirable attribute for applicants.

The LSC president's salary is $68,700 a year, with free dental insurance. If that doesn't sound like much for a lawyer "with demonstrated ability in management and administration," there are other amenities. Bogard, like his predecessors at LSC, negotiated a private contract that included such additional perks as a paid membership in the private club of his choice.

Paid advertising aside, Streeter said most of the 150 applications collected were forwarded through the legal-services community. The board expects to winnow those to 10 or 20 and announce its choice by the end of May, he said.