Employer of Choice votes are in: Find out where firms stack up

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An any business, attracting (and retaining) the right people is crucial, and law firms in Australia and New Zealand are no different.

Legal employers have invested significant resources in training staff, creating opportunities for lawyers to do interesting and challenging work for quality clients, facilitating access to technology to make it easier for staff to do their jobs, and promoting employee wellbeing and greater work-life balance.

So have these initiatives achieved the desired result of a happier and more engaged workforce?

Australasian Lawyer surveyed more than 1,000 employees from the legal industry about what firms are doing right, and where there remains room for improvement.

Based on this feedback, in our latest magazine edition 1.4 we reveal the overall Employers of Choice, and take a closer look at the firms that were rated highly by their staff in particular areas, such as remuneration, quality of work and work-life balance.

Today we have selected a few of the categories to give you a sneak peak into the results that appear in Australasian Lawyer magazine.

This year’s survey attracted a diverse cross-section of legal professionals. Solicitors/associates followed by senior associates were the two positions most represented in the survey, and the vast majority of employees surveyed had been in their roles for five years or less.

Almost 60% of respondents were females, and more than 75% reported working an average of 50 hours or less each week.

Most law firm employees had taken between two and four weeks of leave during the previous year.

This week, we reveal the results of the remuneration, career progression and gender equality categories.

Remuneration:
As with most polls of lawyers, respondents to this year’s Employer of Choice survey were split on the question of pay. Just over half of employees (55.2%) were satisfied or very satisfied with their current remuneration, while 20.6% were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their pay.
 
Partners were most satisfied with their pay, giving their firms an average rating of 4.14 out of a possible 5, followed by managing partners (3.97). Perhaps unsurprisingly, solicitors and associates were not as satisfied, giving their firms an average rating of 3.13. However, it was in-house counsels who were least happy with their pay, rating their employers 3.10 for remuneration.
 
And the top-performing firms are…
  • Gilbert & Tobin
  • Wallmans Lawyers
  • Buddle Findlay
 
Career progression:
Although most respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their employers clearly communicated their career path and the steps to be taken in order to be considered for promotion, approximately one fifth of respondents believed their employers could do better.
 
Managing partners were most likely to agree that their firms offered a clear progression path (giving their firms an average rating of 4.44 out of a possible 5), although other employees weren’t so sure: senior counsel rated their firms 3.32, senior associates 3.30, and solicitors and associates gave an average score of 3.35. Again, it was in-house counsel that scored their employers the lowest, giving an average rating of 2.33.
 
 
And the top-performing firms are…
Gender Equality:
Gender equality in the legal profession has been an area of focus for many firms in recent years and, based on the feedback from respondents, initiatives such as mentoring programs for female lawyers, initiatives to increase the number of female partners, and facilitating more flexible working practices to better accommodate employees with family commitments have been positively received.
 
Close to three quarters of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their firms had a strong commitment to achieving gender equality in the workplace.
 
And the top-performing firms are…  
The complete list of results of the Employer of Choice survey appear in Australasian Lawyer’s latest magazine edition 1.4. Subscribe for more articles and detailed legal features.

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