This report, prepared by El Confidencial and El Observatorio, the HR think tank for the legal sector led by Ignacio Escobar, is the continuation of a first study prepared by El Observatorio in 2020.
Many of the answers collected in the study are a continuation of those of the previous edition, but others have important differences both because the survey sample is larger and because the questions or the options to choose from among the possible answers have been redefined.
The main conclusions are as follows
Only 35% of Law students feel sufficiently informed about their career options. Job platforms (78%) and job forums (74%) are not considered as sources of information. On the other hand, websites (61%) and families (57%) are.
Half of the respondents think that extra legal training will be necessary at the start of their career, followed by training in personal skills. Only one in four believe they will need to learn about technology and management, and one in five about finance.
The most relevant aspects for choosing where to work are the existence of a good atmosphere in the organisation (57%), the ability to balance work and family life (51%) and career opportunities (47%). The best places to work for each of them are, respectively, small offices, public administrations, and a large law firms. On the other hand, they do not expect to find a good environment in a large firm or in public administrations, a good work-life balance in a large firms, and career opportunities in a smaller firm.
The first major conclusion to be drawn from the report is the low percentage of students who have decided what they are going to do for a living, just 33%. Of those who have decided, the majority (46%) choose the practice of law.
Just as LinkedIn is the most valued social network among practising lawyers for personal branding and the search for opportunities, this platform is, however, not so valuable for law students.
The most uninteresting opportunities are going for a competitive examination and entrepreneurship (whether in the legal or any other field), the reason why these options are discarded is the uncertainty that they entail. In large firms, they fear the difficulty of balancing work and the lack of a good atmosphere.
Among the options that students are most interested in is practising law in a large law firm, followed by taking a competitive examination. Large law firms attract students because of their remuneration and career prospects, while the difficulty of balancing work and family life is the most important factor when applying for a competitive examination. Small and medium-sized firms are valued for their good working environment.
María José Serrano, Director of People, Talent and Culture at ONTIER, participated in the study and gave her opinion on the challenges and opportunities for firms in attracting talent. Thus, María José Serrano highlights in her contribution to the report that 'the growing diversity of the legal market and the change in the priorities of young people with different expectations. The salary war generated in recent years to attract younger talent is creating a medium-term bubble that does not necessarily benefit the attraction and development of talent. Young people look for and value other elements of the value proposition, such as the work environment, flexibility and social commitment, and the organisation they join as a platform for personal and professional development and not only for promotion. The main differences between ONTIER and other options are the global nature, the collaborative and close environment, the client focus and the audacity that leads us to propose innovative alternatives. The growth of the firm, the possibility of taking part in complex matters and the concept that being global is not the same as being international, is a strength that gains weight in the value proposition.'