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Lawyers Are Looking For A New Life In The Law

April 2022

New research from Axiom Law reveals today’s lawyers are actively looking for new roles and more control over their careers.

London, April 21, 2022 – Approximately half of corporate lawyers in the UK (48%) are actively looking for a new position, or are planning to exit their current role in the next 1-2 years (51%). No matter where they are in their career journey, a clear majority (72%) say they are considering joining a flexible legal talent provider. These are just a couple of the statistics from the “New Life in the Law” study released today by Axiom, the leading flexible legal talent provider. The independent survey conducted by IRN Research, which polled 150 UK-based corporate attorneys across all levels of seniority, found that lawyers have a growing interest in alternative career journeys and are seeking news ways to amass diverse skillsets and expertise.

“Lawyers are looking for a new life in the law,” said Daniel Hayter, Vice President and Managing Director, Europe, Axiom. “Our survey uncovered a host of changes in attitudes and aspirations about traditional career paths. While some of the shifts have been exacerbated by the pandemic, the overall trend is consistent with what we’ve witnessed in the legal services marketplace for a long time: a growing desire among legal professionals to gain more control and autonomy over their careers and build personalized paths that align to their interests and individual aspirations.”

Survey responses show that flexible talent providers have not only become an established part of the legal services sector, but also an increasingly attractive and long-term employment option for corporate legal professionals. Seventy-three percent of lawyers surveyed completely or strongly agree that working for a flexible talent provider would be a long-term career choice.

While increased flexibility and work-life balance are often important considerations, most lawyers surveyed aren’t looking to “downshift.” Material rewards and a progressive career path are still requirements for the majority. The growing interest in joining a flexible legal provider is an important acknowledgment that these providers can meet those requirements, while also offering a steady stream of rewarding, diverse, and challenging work with leading clients. To that point, 61% of respondents believe that lawyers at flexible providers are well-utilized, working 70-90% of available hours. It’s a statistic that is in line with Axiom’s talent pool, most of whom work at 100% capacity, or proactively opt for fewer engagements in order to better blend their work with outside interests and pursuits.

Sara Morgan, Senior Vice President, Legal Talent, Axiom. “Everyone knows that the legal profession is changing by embracing digital transformation and adopting techniques from other sectors such as agile working. It’s happening as part of a wider effort to align with changing client-side demand for increased focus, flexibility, responsiveness and proof that legal services deliver quantifiable value. Flexible talent providers are at the intersection of these critical shifts in how lawyers want to work and how clients want to procure legal services.”

Beyond the growing interest in flexible talent providers, the Axiom research highlighted two notable themes:

  1. The Client Gap: Lawyers believe that current traditional in-house teams often lack multi-disciplinary skills, and as a result they aren’t seen as vital to achieving business outcomes. In fact, 48% of lawyers in practice believe there is a disconnect between the work they do for clients and client’s business strategy.
  2. The Office Exodus: There’s no going back. Lawyers have realized that they can be just as effective working remotely as they can in person. A clear majority (61%) prefer to work from home rather than returning to the office. Three quarters (75%) agree that working from home has shown them that working for a flexible provider could be a career option.


About the Survey
The independent research survey was conducted by IRN Research in Q4 2021. The online survey queried 150 corporate lawyers in the UK, including 46% employed in a top 100 corporate law firm, 19% employed in other corporate law firms, and 35% employed in-house. The sample includes those with PQE (post-qualification experience) ranging from 2 years to more than 20 years.

About Axiom
Axiom is where legal teams go to find the right talent for everything from ongoing in-house matters to complex outside counsel work. Too many lawyers and legal departments are stuck in a forced compromise. Legal departments have high standards when it comes to finding the right talent and getting the right value. And top lawyers want to get more control over how, when, and where they practice. Axiom shares and meets the higher standards of its clients and lawyers– connecting mid-market and Fortune 500 companies with the world’s deepest bench of experienced, specialized legal talent. Axiom. Higher standards welcome. www.axiomlaw.com


Carrie Kalish