2022 Survey Report:
A New Life in Law 

Lawyers are taking more control over their careers.
New research from Axiom helps explain why.

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Legal professionals are re-evaluating their career paths

In October 2021, Axiom asked IRN Research to conduct independent research amongst corporate legal professionals in the UK. Using an online survey, 150 corporate lawyers across all levels of seniority were asked about their careers and the course they would likely follow in the future.

Naturally, we wanted to gauge how many would consider joining a flexible legal talent provider like Axiom, but we also wanted to understand what the drivers might be behind career-defining decisions to stick with—or diverge from—traditional routes up the legal ladder. 

What we discovered was growing interest in alternative career journeys, with most of those surveyed looking for new ways to amass the skills and experiences needed to advance to the top of the profession. No matter where they were in their career journey, a clear majority (72%) said they were considering making the leap to a flexible legal talent provider, while roughly half said they were currently looking for a new post or likely to consider one in the next couple of years. 

And we uncovered a host of other changes in both attitude and aspiration. While some shifts have arguably been accelerated by pandemic, the overall trend is consistent with what Axiom has witnessed in the legal services marketplace for over a decade: a growing desire amongst legal professionals to forge an independent career that doesn’t tie them to any one firm or in-house legal function for the plurality of their working lives. 

Everyone knows the legal profession is changing, finally embracing digital transformation, and even adapting management methods from other sectors such as agile working. It’s happening as part of a wider effort to align with changing client-side demands for increased focus, flexibility, responsiveness, and proof that legal services deliver quantifiable business value. 

Those shifts are changing how legal services are procured — shaking up old ideas about how roles should be defined, and how skill sets should be mobilised. The door is wide open for legal professionals to find a career niche that matches their interests and individual aspirations.


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