Adelaide was recently rated first in a national survey of the most liveable cities in Australia.
With a median house price in the low $400s (and we are talking brick houses with side drives) it’s no surprise that, as the most affordable major city in Australia, the pull of cheap housing is a major factor. Aside from that, quality health, infrastructure, affordable schooling and the food and wine scene make it a great place to settle. It is warmer than Melbourne, rains less than Sydney and the average commute is still undertaken by car (why not drive when parking is affordable and there isn’t much traffic to fight through during your 15-minute commute?)
On the employment front, Adelaide has suffered a little from a sluggish economy, like some eastern states, and while the mining boom is evident in part it hasn’t had anywhere near the effect that we have seen in BrisVegas or Perth. For lawyers, however, the pickings have remained pretty good and, while average wages are lower than other states, if you factor in a house purchase, Adelaide lawyers are usually ahead of their interstate counterparts, despite the lower gross income levels.
Partnership, while slightly harder to achieve than it once was, is still an expectation in the Adelaide firms and local lawyers can achieve this in reasonable time. Adelaide practices also average lower billable hours than those in other states.
However, the in-house market is fairly modest in Adelaide, with few major listed entities in the ASX 100, so the teams are pretty small. There is a very strong offering of law firms, with a top tier of local firms that are well-established, full-service corporate firms, and leading partners who have often done their time in top-tier firms overseas or interstate. While finance and M&A tend to lack the odd zero from the size of deals, the benefits to lawyers of this is getting more hands-on in the deals at a younger age and playing a key role in transactions.
Litigation lawyers have always fared well in Adelaide and locals have traditionally enjoyed a high standard of work, with firms being involved in Bond, Duke, HIH, and major insolvency matters in the past. With resurgence in energy and resources, and a solid base of wine, government and commercial matters, Adelaide can be an interesting option for those looking for either specialist or broader commercial experience.