New research shows that, with Australian companies set to reduce rates of outsourcing of legal work as well as a need for relevant industry experience, there will be a need for more legal counsel in the coming year.
In the latest Hays Jobs Report, covering the period from January to June 2019, global recruitment firm Hays listed the skills in greatest demand across 31 sectors and industries.
“Recruitment activity will remain buoyant during the first half of the year, especially for highly-skilled professionals who perform non-routine tasks that are not subject to automation,” said Hays Australia & New Zealand managing director Nick Deligiannis.
“With several major infrastructure projects underway or soon to commence across the country, the resurgence of the resources industry, technological transformations and a widening talent mismatch, the demand for skilled professionals is expected to rise even further over the coming six months.”
In-house legal activity is growing steadily across Australia, Hays said, as companies cut down on outsourcing their legal function.
“There will continue to be increasing demand for legal roles to be filled such as paralegals, legal counsel, senior counsel and general counsel, particularly across the commercial, commercial property and banking and finance industries.”
Within the legal in-house market, greater demand will exist for legal counsel with relevant industry experience, the recruiter continued.
“For example, a mining organisation will request a lawyer who has worked on mining accounts previously.”
Further, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry has fuelled demand across Australia for senior in-house lawyers and litigation paralegals, Hays wrote.
“Financial regulatory experience is required for these roles, as regulatory bodies continue to maintain strict oversight over the financial services industry. Therefore, lawyers who are familiar with wealth advice, capital markets transactions, investment management and insurance legislation are able to secure roles more easily than in the past,” it said.
For those who might be seeking a change within the legal profession, Hays warned that many senior-level jobseekers remain “surprisingly ill-prepared for their job search”.
“It is crucial, regardless of your seniority, to send an up-to-date CV and ensure your LinkedIn profile is current. Display appropriate specialist endorsements on your profile so that you are contacted about relevant job opportunities,” Hays explained.
“Consider how you can demonstrate your data fluency, strategic thinking and readiness for AI-integrated workforces to stand out from the crowd with our advice on the latest trends here.”
The findings also showed that demand is set to remain high across all tiers within law firms, but specific hotspots of skills in demand are emerging, in light of environmental and political factors. In private practice, demand is set to be high for commercial property lawyers, construction and property lawyers, commercial litigators, lawyers with commercial contract experience and certain government legal roles.