Cheer up English & Welsh solicitors – it’s not all bad
Given the constant stream of doom and gloom that we are all subjected to in the media at the moment, it might be easy to succumb to a negative mindset right now. Especially because, as lawyers, we may see clients who are having a tough time due to the economic situation in the UK and globally.
Reasons to be cheerful
But we think there are some reasons to be cheerful. The legal industry is still doing well. Regardless of where we are in the economic cycle, the demand for legal services always remains strong. While different specialisms may be more or less in demand as that cycle turns, lawyers who can diversify enjoy relative security. For example, a corporate lawyer who works on M&As during boom times could develop their insolvency practice during the downturns.
English law is one of the UK’s significant service exports. Our jurisdiction is a global benchmark of excellence. People from around the world continue to choose English law to govern their contracts and our courts to adjudicate on their disputes.
We know that the recent labour shortage has resulted in a highly competitive recruitment market and led to a surge in salaries for newly qualified solicitors in London, for example. Legal talent has never been more in demand across a range of providers, and not just in the capital, the job market is booming.
Technology is making lawyers’ lives easier and continues to develop at a fast pace. From enabling us to work from home more, helping us become more efficient -for example by using AI, such as in eDiscovery, to case management systems that make doing our jobs less difficult and less stressful, legal tech is changing the legal landscape.
While many worried that AI may put lawyers out of a job, it’s clear that it is in fact facilitating us being able to do more high-quality, value-added work that is ultimately more satisfying, boosting job satisfaction.
Generally, lawyers have come out of the pandemic well as the nature of their work often lends itself to home working and most have hung on to at least some form of hybrid working – which many value highly for the wellbeing and economic benefits it brings.
When it comes to training, we have many high-quality law schools and lots of firms investing in amazing training for tomorrow’s lawyers. While there is still work to do on increasing socio-economic diversity in the profession, there are now different ways to qualify which mean you don’t have to fund yourself through law school.
Onwards and upwards
So, while the news may not be brightening up any time soon, we think lawyers have a lot to be positive about – it really isn’t all bad!
–Nigel Clark, CEO