MOST LAW students would prefer to work in one of Australia’s top six law firms than any other type of organisation.
But this result is only marginally ahead of mid-tier firms, which also rank highly as the most appealing places to work, a Lawyers Weekly survey reveals.
As well as asking students at the Sydney Law Careers Fair what specific stall they came to see, Lawyers Weekly asked where they would consider working by type of organisation — be it the top or mid tier, a boutique firm, major corporation or accounting firm, government department, or not-for-profit organisation.
Of the 318 responses that were given to the question “which firm/organisation did you most want to see at the fair”, 138 (or 43.4 per cent) of the specific answers were firms from the top tier.
This included top of the table Mallesons Stephen Jaques, followed by Clayton Utz, Blake Dawson Waldron, Allens Arthur Robinson, Freehills and Minter Ellison, in that order (with Allens and Freehills tied).
The number of people who wanted to see specific mid-tier firms totalled 103, or 32.29 per cent. The next most popular category comprised government departments, including the Attorney-General’s Department and Legal Aid, which received 30 responses, or 9.43 per cent.
This was followed by corporations, such as the large accounting and finance firms, with 27 responses and 8.49 per cent, and then all international firms, with 19 responses and 5.97 per cent.
Rounding out the results was a single vote for the University of Hong Kong.
When students were asked to select a firm tier or type of organisation they would consider working in, it was permissible to choose more than one, and so a total of 664 responses were given.
Perhaps suggesting that students may not be as aware of the names of mid-tier firms as they are the top guns, 43.4 per cent of students were able to list a specific top-tier firm as the stall they most wanted to see at the fair, but only 31.63 per cent of respondents said they wanted to work in top-tier firms generally — a drop of nearly 12 per cent.
About 13 per cent of respondents were open to working in boutique firms. And, while 32.39 per cent had named a specific mid-tier stall they wanted to see, a very close 30.12 per cent selected the mid tier as a future area of employment.
Specific major corporations — such as KPMG, Macquarie Bank and Ernst & Young — were listed by 8.49 per cent of respondents as stalls they wanted to visit, which closely matched the 8.58 per cent who would consider working for a corporation after graduation.
Students were also interested in working for not-for-profit organisations (8.89 per cent of responses), while a further 7.38 per cent would consider a barrister’s chambers.
Of the grand total of 445 students who responded to the survey, 318 firms or other organisations were listed (some students entered more than one stall name).
This left 153 students who did not respond to the question, either through an inability to list a favourite or reluctance to commit to any one stall. Quite a number of those listed ‘all’ stalls.
Some of the more amusing responses to the question of ‘who did you most want to see at the fair’ included “Malice Jaques”, “Phillip Fox”, “Cleyton & Utes”, and “environmentally friendly ones”.
Additional reporting by Kate Gibbs, Clare Buttner and Shaun Drummond