Survey reveals expectations of future lawyers

Aspiring lawyers rate work-life balance and career progression above high salary levels, according to a survey by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The survey, which asked 114 students and recent graduates about to embark on legal careers, revealed that 43 per cent see work-life balance as one of the most important factors of a future career, while 67 per cent mark career progression as an essential element – both factors ranking ahead of competitive salary and bonus at 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, 57 per cent of respondents listed the long working hours often associated with City Law firms as something that would put them off pursuing a career in law.

Commenting on the results, Simon Johnson, Freshfields’ trainee recruitment partner, says “The next generation of lawyers have a more holistic view of what they want from a career. Salary progression, career advancement and job stability are very important to them, but they don’t want these at the expense of their personal lives. They want the full package.”

The results are reflective of Lawyer2B’s Big Survey, in association with BPP Law School, which surveyed more than 1000 students.

This also revealed that work-life balance and quality of work or level of responsibility are the top priority when looking for a training contract, with 40.3 per cent and 42.6 per cent indicating these respectively.

Only 27.4 per cent indicated that a good salary and benefits is essential, while 28.2 would base their decision on a law firm’s attitude to diversity.