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Career factors impacting lawyer satisfaction in firms

Career factors impacting lawyer satisfaction in firms

Professionals lined up

The 2018 Legal Firm of Choice Report has revealed a number of career factors are having an impact on Australian legal professionals’ professional and career trajectory perceptions of their own firms, providing insight into what firms are doing well, and what factors law firms may need to reconsider in an effort to prevent loss of talent.

Momentum Intelligence, in partnership with Lawyers Weekly, has produced the fourth annual Legal Firm of Choice Report, providing an insight into the recruitment market and determining what internal and external factors make lawyers want to switch firms.

Legal professionals were asked to rate how they feel their firm performs on career factors across eight areas: engaging work, training and education, career progression, mentoring, quality of leadership, diversity and equality, pay and reward, and secondment opportunities.

According to the report, “surveyed legal professionals were generally positive about their firms’ performance on career related attributes.”

However, the report warned both pay and reward and secondment opportunities “are career attributes legal professionals were less positive about.”

Of the surveyed respondents, 60.5 per cent indicated their firm was ‘good’ or ‘very good’ at providing satisfactory pay and reward systems.

The average of all responses on this attribute ranked it second poorest in terms of career factor satisfaction with a numerical value of 3.67, only faring better than secondment opportunities (at 3.25), with both sitting lower comparatively in the ‘average’ category to other factors.

While secondment opportunities were ranked ‘very good’ or ‘good’ far less than any other career factor by legal professionals at 45.8 per cent of responses, the report conceded this factor to be “of relatively low importance to legal professionals, so limited secondment opportunities is unlikely to be a major issue.”

However, “remuneration is an important consideration in potential switch decisions, so it is an area that some firms may need to improve in order keep and attract quality staff,” the report flagged.

The highest ranked factor was engaging work, with just under half of legal professionals indicating their firm as being ‘very good’ at providing engaging work at 49.6 per cent.

Combined with ‘good’ responses, over 80 per cent signalled their firm positively provides engaging work. With an aggregate numerical value of 4.27, this places it on top of the factors polled, and within the indicator of ‘good’.

Quality of leadership came in second in the survey, with 75.3 per cent indicating their firm was ‘very good’ or ‘good’ in this regard. Its average ‘good’ ratings placed it just above the good benchmark, with a numerical value of 4.03.

Sneaking into third place, and making the final entrance into the ‘good’ average with a numerical rating of 4.02 was career progression, with 73 per cent combined ‘very good’ and ‘good’ responses.

With training and education (3.86), career progression (3.84), and mentoring (3.83) all displaying mean scores falling between ‘average’ and ‘good’, the report suggests “there is room for improvement in these areas across the industry.”

If you would like to purchase the Legal Firm of Choice Report, please contact Michael Johnson via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 02 9922 3300.

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