Employer Insights

Impressions of the Legal Market - July 2020

Posted by Meaghan
min read
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Legal firms have been reporting that across most areas of Law, apart from transactional areas such as Corporate/Commercial and Banking and Finance, that their teams are busy and have continued to be so throughout the pandemic.  Some firms have reported moving support staff from quieter teams into the busier ones to manage workloads, however now as the market is starting to pick up, they will no doubt need to look at additional resources.  Notable areas of Law that have been reported to be busy include Employment Law, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Government and Construction.

Notably, we have seen a sharp upswing in vacancies listed within the Insurance Litigation area.  On both the plaintiff and defendant perspectives, we have recently been working on permanent and contract Legal Secretarial and Paralegal positions, spanning Workers Compensation, Personal Injury, General Insurance, Health, MVA and CTP.

In the temporary recruitment sector, we have assisted boutique and mid tier law firms, along with government agencies, with numerous Legal Assistant assignments of varying lengths up to several months.  We do predict an increase in the number of temporary vacancies being listed with people2people in coming weeks, with firms beginning to return to the office. 

Job seeker sentiment is one of cautious optimism.  Without doubt, there has been an increase in job seekers who are putting ‘the feelers out’ to see what positions are available in the market, however we are experiencing ‘candidate hesitancy’ due to the current uncertain climate. people2people recently published the results of a survey that we conducted earlier in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Australian economy.  We reached out to Australian Managers who represented 160,000 employees, as well as 300 career seekers to collate results spanning industries including Health, IT, Legal, Accounting, Supply Chain, and other professional services.

Employers noted the ‘time to fill’ roles has increased due to job seeker hesitancy across areas including legal services. This is reflected by those career seekers surveyed, with 38% admitting they are reluctant to make a career move,  or have paused their career search until the economy improves.

Whether it translates into less applicants, or into a longer decision making process, when applicants reach to the final stages of a recruitment process, they are thinking more carefully before applying or accepting a job offer.

Without doubt, we are in a more positive situation, as firms are beginning to return to the office and reassess their talent resources within their teams. If you are an employer wishing to hear further information on our impressions of the market, or indeed are looking to add a new staff member to your team please contact me.  Equally, if you are looking for a new position for yourself or simply curious about what is available in the market, please reach out to me directly on 02 8270 9706, 0417 413 787 or meaghan.gleeson@people2people.com.au