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, lateral hires include the partner’s team as well as the partner. 

Corporate in-house

6) Most recruitment is for lawyers with three to eight years experience.

7) Lawyers are favouring moves to government and statutory authorities. For many lawyers, pay rises and better working conditions are becoming more achievable in the public sector than the private sector.

8) There is a technology influx into corporate legal departments. Lawyers can no longer avoid digitisation of tasks and being measured against efficiency KPIs.

9) Dissatisfaction occurs in-house when a career path reaches a roadblock. Corporations don’t care as much as law firms do about the career paths of their lawyers. 

10) The money’s better in private practice. That’s a big generalisation. There are exceptions but if you want big money then big law firm associate and partner are the roles to have.