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Readers leave the law

Readers leave the law

Thirty-two per cent of Lawyers Weekly readers are currently looking for another job. The high percentage was a shock this week as the online poll results came in. Perhaps even more amazing is…

Thirty-two per cent of Lawyers Weekly readers are currently looking for another job. The high percentage was a shock this week as the online poll results came in. Perhaps even more amazing is the news that this figure refers specifically to those searching for a career change out of the law.

A similarly high percentage of readers who voted on the Lawyers Weekly poll last week said they would definitely not continue to work as a lawyer as their career progressed, at 26 per cent. By this result, we can now conclude that a total of 58 per cent of our readers plan to work outside the law in the future.

Lawyers Weekly online had asked readers whether they intend to work as a lawyer their whole careers.

As the recruitment market is flush with jobs and thirsty for talent at all levels, this is not promising news. Legal recruitment agency Michael Page said last week that there is an insatiable appetite for Australian lawyers by US and UK firms.

“We were overwhelmed by the need they have for Australian lawyers and the weight they put on it in their own internal recruitment processes,” said Jason Saunders, associate director of Michael Page Legal.

But it looks like Australian firms will have to do more than ever to retain the lawyers who are planning a career move out of the law. The online poll results have inspired this magazine to look into the causes of readers’ planned moves.

The poll shows that as 58 per cent are either in the process of searching for a job or are planning to move sometime in the future, while a relatively small proportion claim they will stay where they are if they are offered partnership, at 18 per cent.

Just 24 per cent of Lawyers Weekly online readers say, with their hands on their hearts, that they plan to always work as a lawyer.

In the next issue, we will bring you a more thorough breakdown of why lawyers are leaving their jobs, and where they plan to go. This risky investigation will have us talking to lawyers and contacts off the record, bringing the fears and concerns of lawyers looking to leave the law to you.

If you’re in this category, email me to spill the beans on what you plan on doing (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Of course your comments will be treated properly, we’ll keep your secret. This is your chance to tell your employer where they’re going wrong, or tell the profession why you plan to leave. Let us know if your firm is not giving you what you need, and what needs to change to keep you where you are.

As the profession claims it’s in crisis over a talent-short market, this is your chance to help fix what is wrong, or make public your views on what needs to be done.

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