What happened in the Legal industry in 2023/24 FY and where to from here?

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First and foremost, we want to express our heartfelt thanks from everyone here at Elias Recruitment.

We truly value your support and trust throughout the past financial year.

This has been a significant year for us as our team has excelled, and we are now delighted to assist our clients with all their hiring requirements.

Eva Wilson is leading our Business Support team and hiring exceptional talent including Paralegals, Legal secretaries, Legal Admin and Service Managers.

Karen Horovitz is hiring for our clients across all Operations, IT, Finance, Marketing and Sales talent.

More insights from 23/24 FY and prediction to the upcoming one:

Market Conditions in the Legal Industry  

Despite downturns across numerous industries including IT, the Legal sector remained robust and
demand for lawyers was strong. While not at the dizzying heights of the previous year, there was a
constant need for good quality lawyers (especially at 3-6 years PQE) across most practice sizes and
While many firms focussed on maintaining headcount rather than expanding, a number of smaller firms
catering to the B2C market (e.g. family, crime, wills) grew rapidly as a result of innovative online
marketing campaigns. Demand was particularly strong for general insurance, workers’ compensation
and family law- with an increase in post-pandemic relationship breakdowns.
The desire for lawyers to work overseas has risen again with USA, UK, Asia and Middle East viewed as
key destinations. The impending Free Trade arrangements with the UK allowing mutual recognition
between jurisdictions will be worth watching.

Salary Trends 

Elias Recruitment proudly supported the 2024 APLMA Australian Legal Industry HR Issues & Salary Survey.

The survey indicates a substantial rise in salaries within the legal industry, with an average increase of
7.0% for law firm employees (national average of 4.2%). There was upward pressure on salaries from
firms trying to outbid each other for candidates with multiple offers or current employers counter
offering. Overall. salaries have tended to normalise this year.
Graduate lawyers’ salaries surged by 11.8%, bringing the average to $76,000 and anecdotally, we
understand some first years have been offered up to $110,000 by top tiers.

Recruitment Efforts

Recruitment will consume the largest proportion of HR budgets, with 29% of firms prioritising talent
acquisition. Most vacancies are for replacing existing lawyers with a continuation of exodus to inhouse
legal roles. Firms offering flexibility fare better in a still competitive market. While many early career
lawyers enjoy the office environment, learning and social opportunities, more experienced lawyers
(especially those who may have family responsibilities) baulk at a 5 day in the office scenario.
Ad response is still poor with the job boards delivering fewer quality candidates. We are relying on
headhunting, networking and word of mouth referrals from 24 years in the market.
Many lawyers are too busy to actively job hunt and wait for roles to be presented to them.

Consequently, Elias Recruitment has developed a Legal Talent Pool where clients can see all the top
candidates we currently represent and approach them seamlessly.

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