Call it the Great Reshuffle, the Great Resignation, or the Great Whatever.
Regardless of the words you use, one thing is certain: the legal profession has rarely been this volatile.
“Never, in the umpteen years I have been in the legal field, have I seen such a crazy, positive, negative market,” says legal staffing expert Chere Estrin. “It just depends on what side you are on – candidate or employer. “While employees are quitting in droves, they are not sitting idle. [E]mployees are leaving the legal field for other opportunities or they are leaving their law firm jobs for more exciting, less stressful and better paying positions within other law firms. In all markets, there are more jobs than candidates causing unprecedented employer response.”
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What’s Happening in the Legal Jobs Market
Here are some highlights of the article “Do You Know If It’s Time to leave Your Job?” by Chere Estrin (all quotes are from her article):
- “[G]enerous hiring bonuses, retention bonuses, fantastic extra perks such as unlimited vacation, and counter-offers with exaggerated raises, all permeate this market. How long will this last? No one seems to really know but it is clear that at some point, the market will revert back to being an employer market, particularly if inflation crashes into a recession.
- Hiring bonuses are being paid to paralegals, IT professionals and legal assistants, as well as new attorneys. “Junior attorneys right out of law school (still with pimples) get $50,000 bonuses,” writes Estrin. “I have also experienced paralegals get as much as $20,000 along with a huge increase from their current salary.”
- Remote work has changed the game. Legal professionals now expect more support, flexibility and better technology from their employers.
- “Work/lifestyle balance is at top of the list of demands. Many candidates are requesting 100 percent remote but in fact, few firms offer it. What they have been willing to do is the hybrid position – working at home and at the office.”
- Lawyers and legal professionals are, generally speaking, no longer willing to work insane hours to meet high billing quotas.
- The highest rates of resignation are among workers aged 30-45 in the middle of their careers.
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