Hotspots of demand in the Australian legal industry revealed

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A new report has revealed the legal specialisations currently most sought after by the market. However, the report also cautions that soft skills may be equally if not more important for employers selecting the right candidate for jobs.
 
According to the Hays Quarterly report for the first quarter of the year, there are many opportunities this year, but it’s not enough to only have relevant experience.
 
“In compiling our list of skills in demand, one common trend was employers’ requests for candidates who can add extra value,” says Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand.
 
“That could be through previous experience in a related discipline, prior process improvements or efficiency gains, additional tickets or qualifications or advanced digital or systems skills, all of which allow a candidate to perform supplementary duties. Any candidate who offers additional value stands out.”
 
Hays has a rosy outlook on the legal sector in Australia for 2017.
 
For both private practice, in-house and government lawyers, there is high demand in the eastern states for mid- to senior-level construction and property lawyers, Hays said. Property paralegals are also in demand.
 
In the public sector, there is a shortage of candidates with high-level policy experience. These legal professionals are needed to implement state legislation, the firm noted.
 
Meanwhile, in private practice, there is high demand for conveyancers and conveyancing paralegals, banking and finance lawyers, planning and environment lawyers, family lawyers and specialists in wills and estates.
 
For in-house roles, there is a need for mid- to senior-level general commercial lawyers with strong contracts experience. Mid- to senior-level technology, media and telecommunications lawyers are also in demand, Hays said.
 
Furthermore, in-house teams are also looking for banking and finance lawyers and legal candidates with company secretarial experience.
 
Hays said, hoverer, that soft skills are increasingly important to employers, particularly in senior roles.
 
“Within both the in-house and private practice markets, soft skills are increasingly important to employers in order to ensure their new hire aligns with their organisational and team cultures. This can take precedence over technical abilities, and is a trend we’re seeing most notably at the senior level,” the report said.
 

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