Tags: industry insights, industry-insights-legal, blog

​For the legal sector, the global pandemic brought an influx of extra work as many areas had to contend with new challenges. Corporate, employment and real estate were amongst the specialisms which saw a sudden increase in their workload as redundancies, furlough arrangements and office changes became common practice.

Despite initial concerns within the industry, legal firms managed to stay buoyant due to the new legal needs presented by the pandemic. As a result, many have managed to diversify their client base, finding new growth opportunities along the way.

While it seems like the worst is behind us, there’s still plenty of uncertainty and Brexit challenges. This has led to a high demand for in-house lawyers to reinforce legal and compliance operations within the sector. Our latest Salary and Benefits Guide has taken a look at the state of the industry to discover what the future holds.

Most legal teams expect to grow in 2021

For our 2021 Salary and Benefits Guide, we spoke to thousands of managers regarding their plans. In the legal sector, 70% said they expected their headcount to grow before 2021 is over. Despite this optimism, 77% admitted they were experiencing a skills shortage.

We also discovered only 44% of those working in the legal sector consider themselves active candidates. While this doesn’t mean the majority aren’t open to new opportunities, they’re not proactively searching. This creates an issue for business looking to grow their headcount, as it leaves them competing over a smaller talent pool or trying to poach from competitors.

Remote working is here to stay

The past year accelerated the adoption of remote working as the implementation of infrastructure which could have taken years happened almost overnight. While the effectiveness of working from home is debated, a clear majority of candidates are in favour of it. 58% of participants said they’d accept a fully remote role, while a further 30% would also consider it.

By offering remote working packages, businesses can connect to candidates further afield. This widens the available talent pool, removing the need to compete for local talent and prevent candidate relocation.

Employee priorities on benefits are changing

We spoke to people at every level of the legal sector to discover which employee benefits they consider to be the most important. Across the industry, the top five were ranked as:

1.      Training

2.      Wellbeing support

3.      Pensions

4.      Flexible working

5.      Flexible holidays

As priorities shift, companies will need to adjust their internal benefits package. Those who don’t risk being left behind by their more forward-thinking competitors.

The future of the legal sector is just one of the areas our insights cover. In our 2021 Salary & Benefits Guide, we’ve interviewed thousands of business leaders and candidates across professional services. From the future of remote working to the most in-demand job roles, our guide is filled with your industry’s latest insights.