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Work quality trumps money in lawyer happiness

Work quality trumps money in lawyer happiness

Lawyers are most happy when given good quality work and surrounded by a good work culture, according to a legal survey.Robert Walters surveyed 150 private practice and in-house lawyers in…

Lawyers are most happy when given good quality work and surrounded by a good work culture, according to a legal survey.

Robert Walters surveyed 150 private practice and in-house lawyers in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

In asking what makes lawyers most happy, the survey found that salary is not key, with the leading response being the type of work they do (27 per cent), followed by working for an organisation with a good culture (24 per cent) and the people they work with (17 per cent).

"I was not surprised by these findings as that is what people in the market have been telling me," said Jenny Bermheden, Robert Walters senior legal consultant.

"Lawyers obviously care about how much they are being paid and what sort of bonus they might earn, but given that they work extremely long hours, they spend a lot of time in the office, so it is important they get on well with the people they work with in an environment that makes them happy and content."

Bermheden added that a good workplace culture should include flexible work arrangements and an environment where "please and thank you" are part of social interaction.

"People want to know that the work they do is appreciated," she said.

On the flipside, when asked what makes lawyers most unhappy, a lack of opportunities for career progression (28 per cent) topped the list, followed by the people they work with (18 per cent) and working for an organisation with a poor culture (17 per cent).

"I speak to lawyers on a daily basis, and one of the main reasons they tell me for wanting to move on is that 'I can't see myself going anywhere'," said Bermheden. "Lawyers in private practice want to feel that the track to partnership is there."

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