Legal market for consultant lawyers heating up in time for summer
Nexa’s COO, Eliot Hibbert shares his observations on the current state of the market for lawyers who may be thinking about making a change.
“Just as we are starting to see the natural world burst into life around us this spring, there are plenty of green shoots appearing in the market for consultant lawyers at the moment.
I think there are many reasons to feel a real sense of optimism as we emerge from what has been a period of uncertainty. This undoubtedly translated into a recruitment slowdown in the recruitment market due to a general, pervading feeling of pessimism.
The war in Ukraine, cost of living crisis and concerns around which way the economy was going led to lawyers seeking job security. A tight labour market led to a salary war in the legal sector which also contributed to people staying where they were. The continuation of opportunities to work from home that came about due to the pandemic, even in traditional law firms, has aided retention, so there just hasn’t been the movement we had seen previously.
The new model market has not been immune to this slow down over the last 12 months. For example, the listed Keystone Law Group reported this week that it recruited only 26 new fee earners last year – the number of lawyers rising from 481 to 507, a more modest rate than in previous years which might explain why its profits were flat.
But there is now a renewed sense of energy – our experience is that the current market for lawyers is strong and there are lots of different options available. There is lots of legal work out there and we are seeing a renewed appetite for lawyers wanting to become consultant lawyers and/or work on a freelance basis.
The reasons for this include many traditional law firms and other companies pushing staff to get back to the office – which they are not prepared to put up with. However, the benefits of the consultancy model are still a positive draw: the unrestricted opportunity to earn, the flexibility to run your own practice as you wish and the freedom to do the work you love without distraction.
I’m confident that this year we will continue to welcome many more high-quality professionals to the Nexa team. The consultancy model continues to prove itself as a great way to take advantage of a booming legal market and make a career in law work for individuals in the 21st century. “
Want to find out more?
If you’re interested in finding out a bit more detail about life as a consultant lawyer and what we can offer you at Nexa, check out our careers pages here or, have a look at our brochure. For a confidential, no obligation chat, contact David Roth.