find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Legal recruitment to run high: Mahlab

Legal recruitment to run high: Mahlab

Law firms are looking ahead with optimism and are starting to plan and execute recruitment and retention strategies, including salary reviews, according to the latest Mahlab Recruitment…

Law firms are looking ahead with optimism and are starting to plan and execute recruitment and retention strategies, including salary reviews, according to the latest Mahlab Recruitment update.

Identifying key 2010 trends for legal and professional services recruitment, the 2010 Mahlab Market Update found an improvement in market conditions since 2009 will mean more employment opportunities will emerge and salary freezes will begin to lift.

This year retention strategies will be a big focus for firms, with lawyers keen to take career steps now that the market has stabilised.

"Retention is going to play a big role over the next 12 months. Not just for law firms, but for many businesses," says managing director of Mahlab Recruitment (NSW) Lisa Gazis.

"The factors that will impact on retention will be very much how each individual felt the firm treated them or their colleagues during the financial crisis [and] whether they felt their career progression had stalled," says Gazis.

How firms react in 2010 will also have an impact on retention. "How firms and employers generally responded to the global financial crisis and how they are now going to respond, with the new markets, will also influence retention," says Gazis.

This focus on retention strategies will bring positive outcomes for lawyers, according to Gazis. "Flowing on from [the focus on retention] will be better conditions, a greater focus on demonstrating career development and also consideration [will be] given to salary freezes and bonuses."

"The fact that there is greater optimism in the market means there is recognition by firms for the need to increase salaries," says Gazis.

The Mahlab update emphasised an immediate challenge for firms - how salary reviews are to be managed in 2010 - and noted that although the expectations of lawyers will be varied, most lawyers will expect a significant pay rise to compensate for salary freezes during the last financial year.

Gazis says some salary freezes are beginning to lift and that firms are starting to announce plans to review salaries. And, according to the update, a number of top-tier firms have already offered bonuses and quarterly payments to strongly performing employees. Gazis believes some reviews will commence this month, with further reviews planned for May and June.

Recognising that the international market has been the most challenging for lawyers, law firms and recruiters, the Mahlab update found demand for Australian lawyers will remain limited in the US and the UK and warned Australian and New Zealand-qualified lawyers who are considering a move to international jurisdictions to hold off until the end of 2010.

"We might see some signs of the international market in the UK improving towards the end of the year," says Gazis. But for the US market, she said Australia won't experience any demand until about 2011.

While there have been increased signs of optimism and increased activity, Gazis adds that it is still, to a degree, an "employers' market" for at least the short-to-medium-term. She says lawyers need to bear in mind that the market is still not a buoyant market.

"We still have a long way to go to improve significantly. Whilst there will be positive things happening in the market, [lawyers'] expectations may still not be met.

"We're still working in a very constrained market."

- Briana Everett

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

Legal recruitment to run high: Mahlab
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
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 & ...