Job security is the biggest influence on students’ decision to work in law
17 January 2023
A new survey, commissioned by UK Top 50 law firm Birketts, has revealed the decision drivers and motivations for second and third year undergraduates when applying for training contracts.
The survey found that job security is the most common influence on students’ decisions to work in law, with just over a quarter of respondents (26.2%) selecting the option. Family or friendship involvement is the least influential factor listed for decisions to work in law, with only 18% of respondents selecting it as an influential factor.
The survey also explored what the top decision drivers are for undergraduates when selecting which firms to apply to for their training contracts. The top five decision drivers for applicants are as follows:
- Type of work/type of law practiced (20.1%)
- Profitability/turnover of a law firm (19.9%)
- Where the firm sits in industry rankings (19.9%)
- Reputation of the firm as an employer (19.9%)
- Type of firm e.g. full service or specialist (17.9%)
When applying to law firms, half (50.2%) of survey respondents will apply to three or four firms.
Interestingly, despite the popularity of hybrid working and the dispersion of the workforce following the pandemic, 80% of undergraduates still think it is very important or somewhat important for the law firms they apply to to be located in London. In fact, those surveyed that are intending on going into law would be happy to relocate 55.32 miles on average for their training contracts.
On the findings, Amy Meyer, Graduate Recruitment Manager at Birketts, said: “The results of our survey give us some interesting insights into what is driving the decisions of today’s second and third year students. It is surprising to learn that the majority of undergraduates will only apply to three or four firms, as I had expected this to be higher. However, what is clear from this and the other insights, is that those intending to go into law know what they want from firms as employers and practitioners. As recruiters, we need to fulfil these needs if we are going to continue to attract talent into the profession.”
The full report is available for download at: https://www.birketts.co.uk/graduates/