Exclusive research has identified the roles, level of experience, location and gender within private practice that garner the greatest satisfaction levels.
Momentum Intelligence, in partnership with Lawyers Weekly, has just produced the fourth annual Legal Firm of Choice Report, providing an insight into the recruitment market and determining what internal and external factors make lawyers want to switch firms.
The report also paints a picture of how satisfied those in the profession are at their current firm and the reasons associated with that satisfaction.
According to the report, most professionals working within Australian legal firms are happy with their place of work, with just over half (51.2 per cent) indicating that they are ‘very satisfied’ with their current employer, while a further 27.1 per cent selected the ‘satisfied’ option.
Interestingly, the results painted a somewhat different picture when breaking them down into satisfaction by job role, satisfaction by experience, satisfaction by state and satisfaction by gender.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, partners/principals reported the highest satisfaction levels, with a whopping 90.1 per cent of those surveyed indicating that they are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’.
Satisfaction levels are also high for professionals working in non-legal roles within legal firms, such as marketing, finance, HR, operations, or administration roles. Just over 86 per cent said they are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’.
Both of these groups of legal professionals were significantly more likely to report being very satisfied compared with associates/senior associates, special counsel and lawyers, the report found.
“Overall satisfaction is lower among legal professionals in these three roles compared with all other job roles,” the report said.
“Special counsel reported the highest level of dissatisfaction, with almost one-quarter indicating that they are dissatisfied (16.7 per cent) or very dissatisfied (5.6 per cent) with their firm.”
Looking at satisfaction by years of experience, the report found satisfaction levels are highest among both the most and least experienced legal professionals.
Out of those surveyed who have worked in law for 21-30 years or over 30 years, 86.8 per cent and 85.3 per cent, respectively, said they are satisfied with their current firm. Similarly, so are 84.4 per cent of legal professionals in their first year in the business of law, the report found.
Out of those surveyed who have worked in law for 16-20 years, 75.4 per cent indicated they are satisfied and 17.6 per cent indicated that they are dissatisfied with their current firm.
Moving on to satisfaction by state, the report found around 79 per cent of legal professionals in NSW and Victoria are generally satisfied, while in Western Australia 85.7 per cent are generally satisfied. In Queensland, 83.74 per cent of respondents indicated they are satisfied.
ACT reported the highest levels of dissatisfaction with their firms, with more than one-third indicating they are either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
In terms of satisfaction by gender, the report revealed males as having a significantly higher satisfaction rate, with 58.8 per cent of those surveyed indicating they are ‘very satisfied’ with their firm, compared to 49.3 per cent of females who elected ‘very satisfied’.
The report also breaks down satisfaction levels according to respondents time spent with their current firm, as well as satisfaction rates by partner numbers.