Well over half of surveyed lawyers rate themselves as happy with their jobs, yet a separate survey found a 31-30 split between those wishing to stay in or leave the law, according to two Australian surveys reported in Lawyers Weekly.
In the Robert Walters’ Employee Insights Survey, more than 1,000 attorneys were surveyed about their job satisfaction. The majority were found to be happy in their jobs, with 44 percent citing work-life balance as the main reason.
The Robert Walters survey found:
- 56 percent of respondents are happy to very happy in their job,
- 32 percent are mostly happy, and
- 12 percent are unhappy.
Yet an earlier Lawyers Weekly poll of 1,000 lawyers found that they’re divided about whether they love or want to leave the law, with 31 percent saying they love what they do and who they work with and 30 percent saying they want to leave and are waiting for the right time.
“In light of challenging economic times and many law firm mergers and restructures, it’s understandable for individuals to not be completely satisfied at work all the time,” Samantha Campbell, a manager at Robert Walters, told Lawyers Weekly.
“Law can be quite pressured, but it doesn’t negate [the fact] that a lot of lawyers do enjoy what they do … there are a lot of pluses,” Lisa Gazis, managing director of Mahlab Recruitment, told Lawyers Weekly. “There are lawyers who are doing it tough and there are lawyers who are disgruntled. People are anxious about what’s happening out there.”
Stimulating and interesting work, however, outweighs the downsides of the high-pressure legal environment, according to Gazis. Campbell concurred, adding that dissatisfaction is often due to the pressures put upon lawyers by senior management or clients, not the type of work they’re doing.
“The highly competitive work environment … along with the onerous billable-hour requirements and intense deadlines are what tend to drive legal professionals to question the validity of their career choice from time to time,” Campbell said.