Axiom Survey Reveals Looming In-House Counsel Crisis: 30% ‘Very Unsatisfied’ with Their Current Position, up from 18% Last Year
Second-annual View from Inside report reveals industry-wide discontent due to overwork and under-staffing; research shows 52% of Gen Z and Millennial lawyers on the move.
NEW YORK, Oct. 19, 2023 – Nearly 90% of in-house counsel are unsatisfied with their current position, according to findings from a new survey report by Axiom, the global leader in high-caliber, on-demand legal talent. The report, Axiom’s second-annual View from Inside, reveals under-resourced legal teams and overburdened lawyers. And its message to legal leaders is clear – despite a short-lived reprieve from the projected surge in resignations as inflation and a recessionary environment encouraged lawyers to stay put while waiting out the storm of uncertainty, GCs have more flight risks on their already depleted teams. And these flight risks are inching ever closer to take off: almost 70% of in-house lawyers are open to or looking for a new position, with 21% actively looking, up 7% points from last year.
“The eye-opening statistics from Axiom's second-annual independently conducted View from Inside survey underscore the urgent need for change,” said Sara Morgan, Executive Vice President, Legal Talent, Axiom. “In-house counsel are not just dissatisfied; they are teetering on the edge of departure. They are asking for their leaders to evolve the way they manage and lead. Legal leaders must listen and take action to address and solve the issues raised in this survey before they lose valuable team members and face the consequences."
Findings suggest in-house counsel are frustrated by a myriad of persistent resourcing challenges. All respondents reported an increase in the volume and complexity of the legal matters they support, and over 80% feel their department is under-resourced. Respondents are also clear more hires won’t effectively address their pain points – only 10% of in-house counsel view additional full-time hires as the completely appropriate solution for their department’s resourcing challenges. Traditional law firms’ lack of expertise, the lengthy onboarding process, and needing more part-time help are at the top of their list of grievances.
The report also reveals that in-house counsel don’t view traditional law firms as an effective solution to their resourcing challenges, either. Only 7% reported traditional law firms could address their resourcing needs, due to reasons such as providing conceptual rather than practical legal advice, administrative management being too time consuming, and traditional law firms not prioritizing their business.
“Axiom's survey highlights the frustrations of an overwhelmed legal workforce, and the message is clear: adding more full-time hires or turning to traditional law firms won't address their department's resourcing challenges effectively,” said David McVeigh, CEO, Axiom. “Instead, inside counsel are seeking agile and flexible solutions that provide the expertise they need precisely when and where it's required. Axiom stands ready to deliver this flexibility, offering on-demand, high-caliber legal talent to help in-house legal teams navigate these turbulent waters efficiently and effectively.”
Junior and mid-level lawyers tend to be markedly more dissatisfied than legal leaders. Survey results also suggest that younger lawyers, or those who are less tenured, present the biggest flight risk. Among Gen Z and Millennial lawyers, over half (52%) are on the move, with 32% actively searching for a new position and 20% very or extremely likely to do so in the next year.
The survey, which was conducted by Wakefield Research, surveyed over 300 US in-house counsel. In-house counsel roles represented in the survey (in roughly equal numbers) include: Leadership Roles (Deputy General Counsel, Assistant General Counsel, Associate General Counsel), Mid-Level Positions (Senior Counsel, Counsel, Associate Counsel), and Bench (Attorneys).
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
Hazel RamirezPlat4orm PR