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Job boom in the Australian legal market
08 July 2011
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Law firms are back on the recruitment trail in a big way, with hundreds of additional jobs being offered in Australia this year.

Most of Australia's major firms have been bulking up over the last six months and have restored their headcounts to pre-GFC levels, according to a survey in The Australian. And these top tier firms are now offering shedloads of new positions too. The firms with the strongest showing are HWL Ebsworth and Arnold Bloch Leibler, which both saw headcounts increase by 20% over the last six months. Business must be booming at Minter Ellison too, as it has taken on an impressive 95 full time lawyers since January.

And it's high fives all round for wannabe lawyers too, as graduate recruitment has grown by an incredible 70% compared with the same period last year.

    The legal profession yesterday

It's all very good news for lawyers. But for those keen to climb the greasy pole to partnership, the figures are less promising. While partnership numbers are growing, it's by an average of only 2.9% over the last six months: which is less than half the pace at which legal jobs have been growing. Looking at the nine top firms - Corrs, Blake Dawson, Allens, Minters, Norton Rose, Clutz, Freehills, Mallesons and DLA - partner numbers grew by only 0.2%.

But overall there is certainly cause for celebration. Since January the equivalent of 551 legal jobs have been created in the legal profession as a whole. And taking DLA Piper out of the equation (where headcount fell the most dramatically due to the recent merger and subsequent dumping of staff "structural changes") employment levels amongst the other top nine firms increased by 6%.



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