There has been a lot of depressing news of late about job prospects for law graduates. I decided to do a little digging to see if I could find a crystal ball. And I found one….big-services-graduate


The Australian Government publishes statistics in jobs outlook ( and they hold very promising news for law students, recent graduates and junior lawyers.


As well as telling us that the unemployment rate for solicitors is below average, the great news is that for the next four years, to November 2019, employment prospects for solicitors is expected to grow significantly after moderate growth over the last 5 years, but strong growth overall in the last 10 years.


In terms of actual numbers, the number of employed solicitors across Australia in November 2013 was just below 57,000 – this number is expected to grow to almost 69,000 by the end of 2019, with job openings across all sectors (private practice, government, and corporate) expected to be above average.


I do wonder, however, what happened to the 15,000 lawyers who disappeared between 2013 and 2014!


The statistics also show us that lawyers work longer hours than the average person (no surprise there), and that 36% of the profession is under 35. I expect this number will increase as more and more universities open law schools.


What does this mean for you? For employees it is good news, in that after years of only moderate job growth, demand for lawyers looks set to increase. But (there is always a but, isn’t there?), it also means that you have to work hard to develop your expertise and networking skills, as well as think outside the box in terms of where you might look for your next job.


For employers, I hope this means that the expected increase in lawyer jobs means that this is as a result of increased demand from clients. When recruiting, the vast majority of people you see will be very young, but don’t dismiss the idea of recruiting someone more experienced.


You can read the statistics here for solicitors, and here for barristers.