Intapp survey reveals 60% of lawyers satisfied with their work/life balance, however admin load remains a key pitfall
Poll of UK lawyers shows almost half (45%) of lawyers are doing more admin than expected
September 25, 2019 RSS
PALO ALTO, Calif. — September 25, 2019 – Intapp, a leading provider of business applications for professional service firms, today announced results from its latest research, which analysed how lawyers across the UK and US view their careers and place of work. The research showed that almost two thirds (60 percent) of UK lawyers currently see themselves as having good work-life balance, something that 39 percent consider the most important factor when analysing their day-to-day working environment.
The survey, conducted in partnership with YouGov, polling 258 lawyers at firms with 50+ employees: 133 in the US and 125 in the UK, revealed that although 42 percent of UK respondents went as far as describing their work-life balance as ‘very good’, the amount of admin that many lawyers are still having to do is arguably a contributing factor to the 21 percent who categorise their work life balance as somewhat bad or very bad. When questioned, almost half of UK lawyers (45 percent) are doing more administrative tasks than they expected and a fifth (18 percent) said that either the majority or nearly all of their time is spent on low-value work.
The research, which looked at elements related to being a lawyer, including the “cultural” and “human” factors that are highlighted in this release. Technology-focused attitudes from this survey are highlighted in this recent release.
Almost two thirds (63 percent) of respondents in the UK stated that they became lawyers in order to work in an intellectually stimulating environment, and over a third (35 percent) said they became lawyers to do rewarding work, highlighting the risk of the administrative burden in hindering the ambition of lawyers, in addition to productivity and the growth of firms. In terms of what is the most important factor to enjoying their working environments, both Big Law and Non-Big Law respondents agreed it was the people they work for and with (53 percent and 52 percent respectively). When asked to what degree the decision to become a lawyer had met expectations, 23 percent had been disappointed.
The research also illustrated how lawyers expect their firms to modernise as a route to improving the success of the firm, as well as their work/life balance.
In order to remain competitive, 30 percent of UK lawyers felt that law firms should modernise the workflow process, and 29 percent felt that law firms should provide services that can do elements of the legal work more efficiently. Many wanted to see their firms invest in technologies in the next year to help with specific day-to-day process.
- 44 percent of UK lawyers want to see their firm invest in content or document management systems
- 34 percent of UK lawyers want to see their firm invest in technologies that do part of the legal service (e.g. initial drafts of documents)
- 28 percent of UK lawyers want to see their firm invest in mobile-enabled technologies
- 41 percent of UK lawyers felt that artificial intelligence could help improve the way conflicts clearance
Chris Turk, Regional Vice President, EMEA said: “While the growth and success of a firm is important, the people that make up the firm are the biggest indicator of lasting success, and these survey results have shown the impact that tools and processes available can have on the daily life of a lawyer. Modern firms – those that take into account the environment of a firm, and the impact of technology on its employees – are the ones that will see the most positive change, and many of our customers are a testament to this.”
Ralph Baxter, a leading advisor to law firms and legal technology companies, and former long-time Orrick chairman, said : “The legal service industry has never been more dynamic than it is today, with changing client demands and increasing competition requiring firms to find ways to serve clients better, faster, and cheaper. The key to success is to modernize: to embrace contemporary ideas and tools to create a better experience for clients. The survey results provide very valuable benchmarks to help firms evaluate their strategies for modernization.”
For more on Ralph’s perspective on the profound change in the legal sector, watch this video.
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 258 lawyers at firms with 50+ employees: 133 in the US and 125 in the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken between 2/8/19 – 2/14/19. The survey was carried out online.
Intapp provides the first and only professional and financial services industry cloud to help firms shift to a modernization strategy and gain a growth edge in today’s competitive marketplace. Over 1,400 clients globally rely on us, including 98 of the Global 100 law firms, five of the top eight global accounting firms, and more than 650 private equity, investment banking and other capital markets firms. We offer intelligent solutions – purpose-built for partner-led firms – spanning the entire client lifecycle, from strategy through origination and execution. Intapp is backed by Temasek and Great Hill Partners. For more information, visit intapp.com
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