find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Senior family lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Family Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Outstanding national firm · High-calibre family law team
View details
Survey to question ‘negative narrative’ of law grad employability

Survey to question ‘negative narrative’ of law grad employability


The Law Society of NSW has partnered with research and consultancy firm Urbis to develop a tracking survey specifically to look at employment prospects for law graduates.

The Law Student Tracking Survey will be available to approximately 3,000 students across 14 law schools in NSW and the ACT.

It is the first of its kind in Australia to focus on the legal profession in particular, according to Urbis director Alison Wallace.

“There are other graduate studies done, but they’re across all professions, and this one gives you the ability to drill down into, in more detail, the specific issues relating to law graduates,” Ms Wallace told Lawyers Weekly.

The survey will ask final-year law students whether they intend to practise as lawyers, or whether they will use their degree as a foundation for another career.

“There’s a particular concern [that] law graduates who want to practise law are going to have a very tough time in the future, and there’s a perception that there’s an oversupply of law graduates,” Ms Wallace said.

“But a lot of this information is anecdotal, and in fact I guess there’s a view that we don’t really know what the situation is.

“There is concern that if there is an oversupply of lawyers, that could potentially lead to lower salaries, it could lead to longer hours of work, it could lead to unpaid internships, and so really this research is to examine the current data and look at the viability of the profession for law graduates, and let’s get a really solid evidence base rather than just talking in generalities all the time.”

The survey will compare graduates’ experiences across a wide range of categories, including gender, age, ethnicity, language background, geographical background and the type of law they want to practise. It will also cover a variety of accredited law degrees, including bachelor of laws, combined degrees, legal diplomas, juris doctors and other postgraduate law degrees.

“[The survey] will be assisting [universities’] career advisers to provide good advice to prospective law students and law graduates,” Ms Wallace said, regardless of whether students intend to practise law.

“And I guess it will assist law schools and the Law Society of NSW and employers to maybe identify any joint initiatives to make a kind of smoother pathway for graduates into employment,” she added.

“We’ve talked with a number of law students and I think they’re really interested in the survey, because a number of them are saying, ‘Look, we’re fed up about the kind of pessimism, we’re fed up about the negative narrative about what the bleak employment prospects are for law graduates’ ... And I think they’re very keen to participate in studies which will actually give more information.”

The surveyed students will be contacted again in three years and in five years to track their employment experiences.

The Law Student Tracking Survey will be completed by students over April 2017, with the first report to be published around July. Ms Wallace said there is potential for it to be broadened into a national study in the coming years.

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

Survey to question ‘negative narrative’ of law grad employability
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...