Significant numbers of young lawyers want to leave their current job

Significant numbers of young lawyers want to leave their current job

A significant number of young lawyers are either leaving or considering leaving their current job in the next five years, according to a new report from the International Bar Association (IBA).

Fifty-four per cent of 3,000 respondents reported that they were ‘somewhat likely’ or ‘highly likely’ to move to a new workplace, 33 per cent wanted to switch to a different area of the legal profession and 20 per cent were thinking about leaving the profession entirely.

The IBA Young Lawyers’ Report is based on the results of an international survey carried out by the IBA’s Young Lawyers’ Committee (YLC) and Legal Policy & Research Unit (LPRU) in collaboration with market research company Acritas (part of Thomson Reuters). 

The research was undertaken to identify young lawyers’ priorities, interests, and concerns around their jobs and future career plans; whether any such concerns are being adequately addressed by employers; the reasons behind the attrition rates of young lawyers; what factors have contributed/are contributing to the reasons for departure; and what changes should be made to improve working conditions (where necessary).

In one of the report’s two forewords, IBA president Sternford Moyo, chairman and senior partner of law firm Scanlen and Holderness, commented: “The young lawyers of today are the senior leaders of tomorrow, so understanding their concerns today will help to shape the profession for the future. Relevant across the globe, this research should be carefully considered with action in mind.”

Co-Chairs of the IBA’s YLC, Marco Monaco Sorge and Marie Caroline Brasseur, wrote in the report’s second foreword: “High turnover of young lawyers can cause problems on many levels, including the disruption of productivity and damage to client relationships. By understanding what drives young lawyers and by building a culture of support and engagement, legal institutions will benefit from an inspired and motivated workforce. This report will be a very useful tool for law firms and businesses in planning the management and retention of their talent.”

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