Negotiating your salary in a declining job market

Since May 2019, the number of Solicitor positions advertised on the internet* has declined each month. For each of those months the decline has been getting bigger as a percentage compared to the previous year. Job ads for Solicitors in September 2019 were down by 11% compared to September 2018. This is almost double the decline compared to the all-occupations category.  September 2019 shows a stabilising of the decline. For solicitor positions it is no worse than the August year-on-year decline. For all-occupations there was still a decline of 6% in September 2019 compared to September 2018 although the decline […]

Prominent Lawyer and activist – Stewart Levitt – releases poetry book with his take on politics, religion and life

Stewart Levitt, best known for his work as a lawyer successfully fighting public causes against banks and governments for the underdog, whether Indigenous outliers or down-at-the heel farmers, has released an anthology of poems titled ‘Too Soon to be Late’. Drawing on his liberal values, Jewish heritage and experience as an Australian lawyer, the 184-page compilation has been written by Stewart over twenty years. The content explores themes associated with his career, including social activism, politics and human rights, as well as his personal experiences related to his close-knit family and travels around the globe, to every continent except Antarctica. […]

Decline in demand for employee solicitors

According to the measure of job ads advertised on the internet, the demand for employee solicitors has declined by 17% in one year. This wipes out almost entirely the positive increase over the two prior years.  Before the last 12 months, the demand for employee solicitors has been buoyant over the last few years, rising at a faster rate than the demand for employees across the economy. The reversal in the legal sector has been much sharper than the general economy. The rate of decline has been 2.7 times greater in the legal sector.

Top 10 facts you need to know about biglaw and in-house employment trends

This is Legal Practice Intelligence’s analysis of the highly regarded Mahlab Reports, 2019 Edition: Law Firms 1) Major law firms are becoming comprised of high-perfoming and low-performing (revenue and profit) practice groups. The challenge will be to minimise the conflict within firms or else risk losing core service areas. 2) Law firm lawyers are being relocated around Australia – following the work. 3) Law firms are offering clients contract-hire lawyers. If you can’t beat the contract hire companies then copy them.  4) There is an increased use of contract-hire staff inside law firms, particularly at senior associate level.  5) Increasingly, […]

Supply and Demand for Lawyers: Gloom and Boom

There are few things more steady and predictable than the ever-increasing number of practising lawyers. Using NSW as an example, the increase was 4% between 2015 and 2016. Since then it has been close to 5% per annum. Is that sustainable? Is it adding to competitive pressures for jobs, for partnership openings and for practice owners?  The gloom First the gloomy facts. As the diagram below shows, annual economic growth in NSW over the past few years has mostly been in the range of 2% to 4%. During the property boom it popped out to 4.8%. If we use 3% […]

The Dark Side of Law Firm Partner Appointments

AFR has published its June/July annual partnership survey. The survey lists the largest and best known law firms in Australia. Our analysis of the statistics published in the survey confirms our expectation that 2018/19 financial year was a good year for these types of law firms. Some firms did better than others. Some merged ‘out of existence’. Some did badly but on the whole it was a year of growth.  We don’t have the final figures for the growth rate in 2018/19 GDP but it was likely to be around 2%. For the group of 53 firms listed in the […]

Starting in a new firm is like arriving in a new country

[Image: Greg Weiss with his new book, So You Got The Job!] A new job in a new firm can be like arriving in a new country. There is new language to learn, a new culture, an explicit hierarchy as well as a hidden one. Somehow, in this foreign land, you are supposed to sit down and hit expected levels of performance while someone has their finger on the probationary-period eject button.  Starting in a new firm is such a daunting experience that (economy-wide) one in five people fail in their probationary period and many others leave in the first 45 […]

In a law firm career the way to the top is sideways

The idea of going lateral – or in normal language, switching firms – is not new. However, there might have been a time when switching from one firm to another, especially as a partner, raised eyebrows. Moving from one firm to another is now so normal that it has become the most common appointment to partnership. Here is the data to prove it The January 2019 AFR Law Partnership survey provided startling statistics. In the survey, 35 law firms reported appointing new partners. Of the 146 new partners, 90 were lateral hires and 55 were internal promotions. 62% of new […]

The most stressed out law firm in America or maybe the most realistic

A psychologist is in attendance at Hogan Lovells, two days a week in its Washington office and one day in its Baltimore office, reports Bloomberg Law. The role of the psychologist is to provide counselling and advice to the law firm’s staff. The psychologist, Dr George Wheeler has been working with law firms since 2006. He says that he has never seen a law firm where stress wasn’t high. If Dr Wheeler’s perception is correct, then that would make Hogan Lovells resident psychology service to staff is a case of accepting reality rather than being marked as America’s most stressed out […]

The Practical Guide to Finding Your Next Legal Job

By Jason Elias. No doubt you have worked hard to get where you are today. Achieving the required education and qualifications takes years of dedication and late nights. Life’s too short to be in a job you don’t enjoy. This holiday season is a great time to take stock of your career. Without the pressure of doing the work, you can make a considered strategic decision on your next career move. Taking the time to properly plan your legal career will have a significant impact on your long term career trajectory. The good news is that in Australia the legal […]