- The vast majority of legal departments have already been seriously affected by the Great Resignation and are likely to see more staff departures ahead, according to a new report from Wolters Kluwer.
- A combined 86% percent of legal departments said they have experienced a somewhat significant or very significant impact from accelerated employee turnover, which has come amid a very active hiring market.
- Additionally, 70% of in-house corporate lawyers say they are very to somewhat likely to leave their current positions in the next year. “The Great Resignation has had worldwide impact, and as record-level resignation rates continue in 2022, the legal profession has faced unprecedented retention and recruiting challenges,” the recently released Future Ready Lawyer Report said.
The Wolters Kluwer report suggests that legal departments are not well-positioned to halt the trend of key talent leaving for other positions.
One reason cited for that conclusion is that in-house legal teams do not appear to be doing a good enough job in the areas that are most important to employees.
For example, corporate lawyers say that career development and fast promotion opportunities are most important to them, but only 39% say their legal department is very good at delivering in that domain.
Additionally, work-life balance that offers a moderate workload is the second most important area for in-house employees, yet just four in 10 say their organization is very good at providing that.
“Companies seem to do better in areas that may have been more important to lawyers in the past, but are less important to today’s professionals – suggesting they are not keeping up with lawyers’ changing needs,” the report said.
Professionals working in legal departments also seem to have little faith their department will be able to fill openings that arise to help the in-house team.
Just one in three believe their department is very prepared to recruit and retain legal staff.
A slightly higher number, 36%, believe their in-house team is very prepared to recruit and retain technology staff.
The report is based on feedback from 751 lawyers in legal departments, law firms and business services firms across the U.S. and 10 European countries. The survey was conducted online from May 16 to June 3, 2022, by an international research organization.