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01/17/14

Eversheds Findings Show Young Lawyers Seek Reformation of the Legal Sector



New research from the global law firm Eversheds LLP found a new breed of young lawyers seeking to reform the legal sector. This new breed of lawyers have a global ambition and desire to treat the legal service operations more in the manner of commercial businesses rather than like a profession. These young lawyers see technology as a key towards modernizing the traditional aspects of the legal profession and bringing it at par with the 21st century corporate practices.

The report by Eversheds, named "21st Century Law Firm: Inheriting a new world" conducted a survey on 1,800 young lawyers between the ages of 23 and 40 years from across the world, who have been in leadership positions. The report further found that the future leaders of the legal industry are determined to drive innovation in the legal sector.

At least one-third of the future leaders of the legal industry felt that the industry was not properly utilizing the technology available, and about one half of them identified ways that could make their firms more efficient by using project management techniques and information technology to manage workloads.

Lee Ranson, Managing Partner at Eversheds commented, "The last five years have seen unprecedented changes in the legal profession, with young lawyers adapting to this change early in their careers. This generation has the potential to transform the way in which the legal profession works."

What was definitely surprising was that close to 40% of young lawyers felt that the partnership model was already obsolete and did not match with the business dynamics of the twenty-first century. However, as long as this model survives close to 70% of young lawyers wish to become a partner. Though, only 57% of women lawyers desired to become a partner in a law firm compared to 77% of male lawyers. There is also a strong regional variation in the desire to become a partner among young lawyers. While close to 80% of young lawyers in South America expressed their desire to become a partner, only 58% in North America still possessed such a desire.

Another remarkable finding of the report contrary to most expectations was that close to half of the young lawyers surveyed, did not see law as a career for life. While close to 65% of women did so. In fact, out of those below 30 years of age, 56% did not see themselves continuing in a law firm after 10 years.

Working conditions and working arrangements are also vital for young lawyers. While close to 40% said that their work abilities and future career was influenced by the presence or absence of flexible working, at least a quarter opined that they needed better facilities and improvements in their work environment. One of the biggest reasons for young lawyers to switch firms was to seek work-life balance.

Eversheds Sutherland

    


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