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Where have all the jobs gone?

Where have all the jobs gone?

It's hard to make a silk purse out of the pig's ear that is the GFC, but there are job opportunities out there for good lawyers, writes Matt Harris and, for those with a more enterprising…

It's hard to make a silk purse out of the pig's ear that is the GFC, but there are job opportunities out there for good lawyers, writes Matt Harris and, for those with a more enterprising spirit, this could be a surprisingly good time to get into something new

Three of the best:

Smaller/boutique firms

They've always had a good story to tell but they're often overlooked despite the fact some are still recruiting as though nothing has changed. Typically leaner, any increase in work, a new client or even the loss of a team member necessitates new recruitment. Also, many smaller, specialist firms are actively using the current market conditions as an opportunity to grab some of the best available talent and come out fighting when things start to improve.

Contract employment

The market for contract lawyers is growing and this is set to continue. Some firms are taking full advantage of a growing pool of immediately available lawyers. While they're keen to avoid being seen as "trying before they're buying" there's no question that a contract offers a good chance for you to get noticed, prove what you're capable of and, ultimately, make them realise you're indispensable.

A new breed

A market where clients need to slash their legal spend without sacrificing quality is spawning a host of new firms developed for a changing legal and financial landscape. Some of these new firms are seconding their lawyers to work from the client site, while others are offering an umbrella under which a lawyer can develop their existing business without the restrictions of a traditional law firm. These alternative practices offer a high degree of flexibility to both lawyers and the clients and there is a growing appetite on both sides among those keen to do things differently.

- Matt Harris is a consultant at Taylor Root

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Where have all the jobs gone?
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