As will be familiar to many lawyers already, each year the Law Society conducts research by collecting data from every level of the legal industry about how satisfied the people working in it actually are. It turns out that, currently, lawyers are a pretty satisfied bunch. That is not all there is to it of course— there is always more to be learnt by checking out the detail.
The aim of the research is not only to identify the level of satisfaction in the industry but also those factors that affect the level of career satisfaction. In general, the report concluded that people find their legal careers highly rewarding and that they feel valued in their role. However, there are still some negative issues close to people’s hearts within the sector and there are measures that organisations can take to address them.
Key findings of the Law Society’s 2014 report
On a positive opening note, most legal professionals are enthused about the area and sector within which they work, which is a great tribute to the profession. There are always some people that are not enthused about their fields of course but often this is largely due to reasons beyond their control such as legal aid cuts and a lack of recognition from the general public.
There is also an increasing level of job mobility. This was found largely in legal disciplines related to commerce and industry. The report also found that the millennial generation is more likely to change jobs if they don’t find satisfaction in their organisation quickly.
Interestingly, the report revealed that there is an increasing dissatisfaction on the part of employees who feel as if they are not given enough say in taking strategic decisions. Considering the detail of the report, it emerges that there is a clear split between older and newer generations on this issue. Younger employees particularly are prepared to move elsewhere in order to seek greater involvement in organisational decision-making.
One particular gripe that was noted was the high level of dissatisfaction with the poor amount of constructive feedback provided to employees. This dearth of feedback indicates a lack of proper mentoring for employees, which gives them the feeling that there is insufficient personal development in their career. This is predominantly an issue at larger firms whereas, at smaller firms with less than 250 employees, people find their work to be rewarding and feel that they benefit from good feedback, leading to a high level of personal development.