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Thursday, May 08, 2014

4 in 10 Lawyers would not encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps

A new survey has been commissioned showing that 4 out of 10 solicitors would NOT encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps.

Wesleyan for Lawyers managed to get hold of 103 'lawyers' to conduct this poll, which is pretty poor considering there are over 120,000 solicitors on the Roll in the UK and considerably more support staff and non-qualified fee earners. Very unrepresentative and a bit of a non-news story!

 However I suspect the real figure is something above 60%.

Why? 7 reasons.

  1. I cannot imagine anyone who deals with the Legal Aid Agency wanting to encourage anyone else to follow in their footsteps. 
  2. High street solicitors who have not got to partnership status are unlikely to suggest to anyone else that it really is a good idea to run up debts of £44,000 going through the education and training bits before earning a maximum salary of £40,000 for the remainder of their career. 
  3. City lawyers in my experience seem to hate their jobs, themselves, the long hours and the lack of much of a life, even though they are getting paid considerable sums of money. Whilst they may want to attempt to glamourise their roles in the firms and essentially call it a vocation, I suspect a lot would not suggest following them. 
  4. Newly qualified solicitors outside the Magic Circle firms must look at their loans and overdrafts and wonder how and why on earth they ever got to the position they are in. 
  5. Lawyers who have gone off to work in local authorities and as lecturers must again look at how hard they worked, what they gave up and the debts they have had to work through and pay off and wonder why they ever bothered. 
  6. Partners who spend about 70 hours in the office each week with work at the weekends as well catching up with paperwork are hardly likely to want to encourage anyone else to follow them.
  7. Any lawyer who has the pleasure of regularly dealing with the Courts is not exactly going to speak about their experiences with any glowing reference. 
So assuming there are 120,000 solicitors in England & Wales, I reckon this must surely account for over 60,000 of them. With this in mind, I think the Wesleyan survey is probably not too far away.

How many lawyers have called for a plumber or electrician to come and do some work, discovered their daily rate is not far off and sat back and wondered if only?

There again, if the same poll was undertaken with GPs and consultants, how many of them would encourage anyone to follow in their footsteps?
Are we as professionals always liable to winge about our existence, regardless of how good or bad it is?

Jonathan Fagan is a Solicitor (non-practising) and Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.