Solicitors are in demand across the country, with 66,211 practicing across Australia-wide, representing a 12% surge in employment numbers since 2011.
According to the latest 2014, National Profile of Solicitors in Australia Report, prepared by Urbis on behalf of The Law Society of New South Wales (and released earlier this year) the outlook for solicitor employment growth is strong.
After much speculation regarding the apparent oversupply of law graduates weakening the legal job market, the Report findings come as a welcome relief to solicitors, confirming employment prospects for them are indeed improving.
Key Report Findings
- There has been a 9% increase in legal firms across the country and a 12% increase in practising solicitors.
- The legal profession is becoming more gender-balanced with a pretty even split between women (48.5%) and men (51.5%).
- More women are also getting into law (19.3%) compared to men (5.4%).
- Behemoth firms with 40 partners or over are sky-rocketing, experiencing 300% growth!
- Sole practitioner businesses meanwhile have decreased by 3%.
- The corporate sector has seen its solicitor ranks swell by 22%.
- Government is not far behind, with an upsurge of solicitors in government roles hitting 19%.
Solicitor Employment Stats across Australia
1. Solicitors practising in Western Australia have experienced the most growth, with the number of practitioners exploding by 40% to 5666.
2. ACT is also doing well, with a 24% increase in solicitors practising.
3. Queensland comes in 3rd place, with 22% more solicitors in work.
4. The Northern Territory has experienced 13% growth.
5. New South Wales and Tasmania, both take a smaller slice of the pie, with 12% growth each.
6. South Australia meanwhile has only bumped up its numbers by 3%.
7. Victoria is falling behind the rest of the country. It has seen a 1% decrease in solicitors, down to 16,214.
Why are Solicitors so hot Right Now?
The main reason is Australia’s ongoing (for the moment) housing and construction boom. Private practices are solidly increasing their intake of solicitors to cope with the explosion over the last 12 months of private equity, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, infrastructure, property & construction.