The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015

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1 The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Prepared for: The Law Society of New South Wales

2 table of contents Highlights Introduction Basic Characteristics Size of the profession Historical trends Assumptions Projections Gender split within the profession Historical trends Assumptions Projections Age Historical trends Future implications Sector of employment Sector size Historical trends Assumptions and Projections Gender mix Historical trends Assumptions Projections Location Individual solicitors Historical trends Assumptions Projections Private Law Firms Number of Firms Historical trends Assumptions and projections Firm size Historical trends Assumptions Projections Income Overall income Historical trends Assumptions Projections Income by gender Historical trends Assumptions Projections Income by Sector of Employment Historical trends Assumptions Projections Working Patterns Full time and part time work... 24

3 table of contents Historical trends Assumptions Projections Mean working hours Future implications Areas of practice Appendix A: Tables Table 1: Number of Solicitors per 1,000 People in New South Wales...32 Table 2: Number of Solicitors in New South Wales, Table 3: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in New South Wales, Table 4: Proportion of Male and Female Solicitors in New South Wales, Table 5: Age Profile of Male Solicitors, (Percentages)...36 Table 6: Age Profile of Female Solicitors, (Percentages)...36 Table 7: Size of the Private, Corporate and Government Sectors, Table 8: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in Private Practice, Table 9: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in the Corporate Sector, Table 10: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in the Government Sector, Table 11: Working Locations of Individual Solicitors, Table 12: Number of Firms and Solicitors per Firm by Location Type, Table 13a: Total Number of Firms and Number of Private Practitioners to Firms, Table 13b: Number of Firms and Percentage of Total by Number of Partners, Table 14: Table 15: Mean Nominal Income by Gender and Sector of Employment, ($,000s)...45 Projected Mean Real Income by Gender and Sector of Employment, ($,000s)...46 Table 16: Proportion of All Solicitors Working Full Time and Part Time by Gender, Table 17: Mean Working Hours per Week for Full Time and Part Time Solicitors, Table 18: Dominant Areas of Practice,

4 Highlights The Law Society of New South Wales has asked Urbis Keys Young to prepare a report on the predicted characteristics of the solicitors of NSW in Predictions are based on quantitative analysis of membership database and Practising Certificate survey data dating back to Over the period 2003 to 2015: The number of legal practitioners is projected to increase from 18,092 to 25,750 The proportion of females in the profession is projected to increase from 38.6% to 52.2% The proportion of the profession working in the corporate sector is projected to rise from 13.2% to 19.9% The proportion working as private practitioners is projected to drop from 72.7% to 68.4%. The distribution of solicitors working in city, suburban and country locations is projected to remain relatively steady. The total number of private law firms is projected to rise from 3,725 to 4,430 The number of sole practitioner firms is projected to increase from 81.5% to 86.3% of all private law firms The proportion of solicitors working part time is projected to rise from 9.7% to 11.9%. 1

5 1 Introduction The Law Society of New South Wales has asked Urbis Keys Young to prepare a report on the predicted characteristics of the solicitors of NSW in The report is designed to assist the Law Society to fulfil its responsibilities to members in years to come. The projected profile of the legal profession in 2015 is based on the Law Society s membership database and information collected in its annual Practising Certificate surveys. Where appropriate, regression analysis of available data has been used to develop the various projections. In other cases, where for instance the relevant data are not sufficiently comprehensive, a consideration of past trends has been used to inform commentary on likely future changes. In each case the report discusses the assumptions behind and methods used to arrive at individual projections. This report presents information on the following characteristics of the legal profession: Size of profession Sector of employment Basic demographic attributes such as gender and age Location of individual solicitors Number of firms Firm size Income levels Working patterns Areas of practice. Where appropriate, projections are also broken down by sector of employment. Tables on which the figures in the main body of the report are based are provided in Appendix A. 1

6 2 Basic Characteristics This section presents projections relating to the overall number of legal practitioners in 2015 and to the gender split within the profession. It also examines the projected age profile of male and female solicitors. 2.1 Size of the profession Historical trends To project the size of the legal profession in 2015, we analysed Law Society data on the overall number of solicitors holding practising certificates in NSW between 1988 and Over this period, solicitor numbers grew from 9,808 to 18,092, representing an average annual growth rate of 4.2%. The number of solicitors per 1,000 people in NSW has also grown substantially, from 1.72 in 1988 to 2.71 in 2003 (an average growth of 3.1% per year) (see Figure 2.1) Assumptions Based on these trends, the number of solicitors in NSW is predicted to grow at a faster rate than the NSW population over the coming decade. For the purposes of our analysis, we have assumed that the growth rate of solicitors per 1,000 people over the coming year will be 3% (a figure very close to the historical growth rate), declining by 0.05 each year to Figure 2.1 illustrates our projections for the number of solicitors per 1,000 people Projections Relating the projected number of solicitors per 1,000 people to current estimates of the size of the New South Wales population up to 2015, 1 it is estimated that the number of solicitors in that year will be 25,750. This would represent an overall growth of 42.3% over the period Figure 2.2 illustrates the historical and projected growth in the overall size of the profession from 1988 to These estimates are based on Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, with slight adjustments. 2

7 Figure 2.1: Number of Solicitors per 1,000 People in NSW, Solicitors per 1,000 people Solicitors per 1,000 people Year-on-year change (%) 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% Year-on-year rate of change Year 0% Figure 2.2: Number of Solicitors in NSW, Total No. solicitors in NSW 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 0 Total No. Solicitors Year-on-year change (%) Year 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% 0% Year-on-year rate of change Tables 1 and 2 in Appendix A provide the numerical breakdowns for the projected number of solicitors per 1,000 people and the total number of solicitors up to

8 2.2 Gender split within the profession Historical trends The period 1988 to 2003 has seen rapid growth in female solicitors as a proportion of the whole profession. In 1988, 20.2% of solicitors in New South Wales were female; by 2003 this figure had risen to 38.6%. This means that the proportion of solicitors who are female has risen by an average of 4.4% per year since Assumptions Given this strong trend, we have assumed that the proportion of females will continue to grow over the coming decade. This assumption is supported by data on legal education enrolments, which bear out the dominance of females in the numbers of people currently studying law and completing Practical Legal Training. 2 Nevertheless, we believe that projections simply based on the current rate of growth in female solicitors would present an unrealistic picture of the likely gender mix in the profession in To produce a more realistic scenario, we have assumed that the growth in the proportion of solicitors who are female will be 3.5% over the coming year (a figure slightly below the average rate since 1988), with this rate declining by 0.06 annually through to Projections Based on these assumptions, the gender split in the NSW legal profession is projected to be roughly even in By 2015, females would constitute the majority of solicitors; 52.2% of the profession in that year would be female and 47.8% male. 2 Urbis Keys Young obtained Department of Education, Science and Training data from the NSW College of Law on LLB enrolment and graduation numbers by gender in NSW, as well data on the gender split in P.L.T. enrolments. Although these data clearly indicated that females are over-represented among those studying law, they did not date back long enough to be factored into the projections. 4

9 Figure 2.3 illustrates the historical and projected gender mix within the profession from 1988 to

10 Figure 2.3: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in NSW, ,000 No. practising solicitors in NSW 14,000 12,000 10,000 8,000 6,000 4,000 2,000 0 Male Female Year Tables 3 and 4 in Appendix A provide numerical breakdowns on the total number of male and female solicitors and the gender split within the profession from 1988 to Age Historical trends Law Society data on the ages of NSW solicitors is available from 1997 to The average age of solicitors changed very little over that period, from 41.0 to 40.9 years. There was also little change in the average age for each gender between 1997 and 2003: males rose from 43.0 to 43.7years, while females remained steady at Despite the relatively constant average age, the distribution of ages changed noticeably over the same period. For males, there was a drop in the proportion of solicitors aged between 35 and 45 years; at the same time, there were increases in the proportions of male solicitors aged between 25 and 30 and between 55 and 65 years. In broad terms, these changes suggest that, over recent years, more male solicitors with around 5 to 15 years experience have tended to leave the profession than previously; while those with more than 15 years experience have tended to stay in the profession. 6

11 Different trends are noticeable for female solicitors between 1997 and As with the males, there was a fall in the proportion of female solicitors aged between 35 and 45 years. However, there was also an increase in the proportion of females between 45 and 55, suggesting that women of childbearing age who leave the profession are more likely to re-enter in the future. And, since the majority of those admitted as a solicitor for the first time over the period were female, there has also been a large increase in the proportion of young female solicitors those under 30 years. These trends are illustrated in Figures 2.4 and 2.5, while the numbers on which they are based are provided in Tables 5 and 6 in Appendix A. Figure 2.4: Ages of Male Solicitors, 1997 to 2003 % of population in each age cohort 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% < Age cohort 7

12 Figure 2.5: Ages of Female Solicitors, 1997 to 2003 % of population in each age cohort 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% < Age cohort Future implications There are many variables which might conceivably influence the age profile of the solicitors of NSW, including the gender split among both experienced and recently admitted practitioners and demand for different types of solicitors. Because of insufficient data on these variables, projections of the age profile of male and female solicitors have not been made. However, based on the trends described above, a number of comments relating to the future age profile can be made. Since more males with between 5 and 15 years of experience have left the profession in recent years, it is predicted that there would be a smaller proportion of highly experienced male solicitors in the future than in the past. This trend will become more pronounced as older solicitors (those between 55 and 65 now) retire. Since males have traditionally dominated the ranks of highly experienced solicitors, this trend could result in a greater degree of gender parity among senior practitioners than in previous years. The female dominance of those entering law means that the females would be expected to constitute the majority of solicitors with less than 15 years experience over the coming years. As these practitioners reach their mid-30s, more will leave the profession than in previous years, but they will also be more likely to re-enter from their mid-40s onward than female solicitors in the past. 8

13 A further observation can be made about average age in the profession generally. Because females are projected to constitute more than half of practitioners in 2015, and because the average for female practitioners is considerably lower than for males, the average age among the profession is predicted to fall over the coming decade. 9

14 3 Sector of employment This section presents projections relating to the three major sectors within the legal profession: private practice, corporate and government. It also provides information on the gender breakdown within each sector. 3.1 Sector size Historical trends Data on the composition of the legal profession by sector of employment have been collected since Since that time, the composition of the profession by sector of employment has changed somewhat. Between 1996 and 2003, the proportion of all solicitors working in private practice by far the largest sector has dropped from 77.5% to 72.7%. Over the same period, the corporate sector has increased considerably, from 10.1% of all solicitors to 13.2%. The government sector has remained steady at around 10.4% Assumptions and Projections On the basis of these trends we have assumed that, over the period , the proportion of all solicitors working in private practice will drop by an average of 0.5% per year, meaning that private practitioners would constitute 68.4% of the profession in At the same time, the proportion of solicitors in the corporate sector is projected to rise by 3.5% per year, with 19.9% of solicitors in this category in As over the last eight years, the government sector is assumed to remain steady at 10.4% of all solicitors in NSW. Figures 3.1 and 3.2 illustrate these projections. The numbers on which they are based are given in Table 7 in Appendix A. Note that the sum of the projected numbers of solicitors in each sector do not equal the total size of the profession as projected in Section 2; the difference is accounted for by those solicitors classified as other not falling into the private, corporate or government categories. 10

15 Figure 3.1: Proportion of Total Solicitors by Sector of Employment, % % of total practising solicitors in NSW 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Private Corporate Government Year Figure 3.2: Total Solicitors by Sector of Employment, No. total practising solicitors in NSW ('000) Private Corporate Government Year 11

16 3.2 Gender mix Historical trends Data on the number of males and females working in each sector are available back to In each sector, they show a consistent rise in the proportion of solicitors who are female. However, in 2003 there was already a considerable degree of gender parity among non-private practitioners 49.7% of corporate solicitors and 52.4% of government solicitors in that year were female Assumptions Our projection of the gender split in private practice in 2015 is based on the assumption that the proportion of these solicitors who are male will fall by an average of 1.9% per year. For the corporate sector, we assume that the proportion who are male will fall by 2.0%; for government solicitors, we assumed a 2.3% drop per year. These various figures are very close to the annual average changes in the respective male contingents between 1996 and Projections By 2015, our projections suggest that females would dominate both the government and corporate sectors, although a majority of private practitioners in 2015 would still be male. It is predicted that the gender breakdown in private practice in 2015 will be 52.3% male and 47.7% female. In the corporate sector, the split would be 39.5% male and 60.5% female. Among government solicitors, 36.0% would be male and 64.0% female in These projections are illustrated in Figure 3.3, while the numbers on which they are based are provided in Tables 8, 9 and 10 in Appendix A. The total number of practitioners in each sector as reported in these tables is slightly less than the overall figure projected in Section 2, since predictions relating to the number of solicitors working interstate and overseas have not been made. 12

17 Figure 3.3: Gender Split by Sector of Employment, % 70% (P,M) Private (Male/Female) Corporate (Male/Female) Government (Male/Female) % of total practising solicitors in NSW 60% 50% 40% (C,M) (G,M) (G,F) (C,F) (G,F) (C,F) (P,M) (P,F) (C,M)) (G,M) 30% 20% (P,F) Year 13

18 4 Location This section presents projections about the location of individual solicitors and the location of private law firms. 4.1 Individual solicitors Historical trends Data on the working locations of individual solicitors holding practising certificates has been collected by the Law Society since Although the total numbers of solicitors working in city, suburban and country areas have all grown since that time, there have been considerable changes in the proportions of all solicitors working in each location type. In 1988, 49.9% of solicitors in New South Wales worked in the Sydney CBD. By 2003, this figure had grown to 55.1% (representing an average annual increase of 0.7%). The percentage of solicitors working in Sydney s suburbs also grew, from 26.5% in 1988 to 27.2% in 2003 (an average annual increase of 0.2%). By contrast, the proportion working in country locations dropped from 16.7% to 13.7% over the same period (an average decline of 1.3% per year) Assumptions Projections based solely on these recent rates of change in working locations would present an unrealistic picture of the profession in 2015, particularly given a recent slowdown in the trends described above. Therefore, we have used more conservative estimates of the growth or decline in solicitors working in each location type over the coming decade. We have assumed a 0.2% annual growth in the proportion of solicitors working in the city, a 0.1% annual growth in the proportion working in suburban locations, and a 1.0% annual fall for country solicitors Projections With regard to location, these figures present a picture of the future profession not greatly dissimilar to that in operation today. It is projected that in % of NSW solicitors would work in the Sydney CBD, 27.5% of solicitors in Sydney s suburbs, and 12.1% in country locations (the biggest relative change of the three location types). Figure 4.1 illustrates these trends, while the numbers on which they are based are given in Table 11 in Appendix A. 14

19 Figure 4.1: Proportion of Total Solicitors by Location, % % of total practising solicitors in NSW 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% City Suburban Country Year 15

20 5 Private Law Firms This section presents projections relating to the total number of private law firms in New South Wales, as well as the number of firms in different size categories. It does not provide information on the number of individual solicitors working for firms in each category, since the relevant historical data were not sufficiently comprehensive. 5.1 Number of Firms Historical trends The Law Society has collected data since 1988 on the number of private law firms in NSW, as well as the number of partners in each law firm. The total number of firms has grown each year, from 2,454 in 1988 to 3,725 in The average number of private practitioners per firm has also grown, from 3.23 in 1996 to 3.53 in 2003 (or by an average of 1.4% per year). 3 However, this growth has slowed over the last three or four years Assumptions and projections We have assumed that the number of solicitors per firm will continue to grow over the next few years. Given the recent slowdown in the rate of growth, however, we have assumed a future growth rate lower than the average of 1.4% for the period 1996 to 2003; we have worked on the basis of an annual increase of 1.0% per year in the number of solicitors per firm. This would mean an average of 3.98 solicitors per firm in Applying these figures to the total number of private practitioners (as projected in Section 2), it is estimated that the total number of private law firms in 2015 would be 4,430, representing an 18.9% growth on 2003 numbers. Projections of the total number of firms are illustrated in Figure 5.1; the numbers on which they are based are given in Table 13a in Appendix A. 3 Data on individual solicitors by sector of employment is available for the period 1996 to

21 Figure 5.1: Total Number of Law Firms and Average Number of Solicitors per Firm, Total number of law firms in NSW 6,000 5,000 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 No. law firms Average no. solicitors per firm Year Average number of soliciters per law firm 5.2 Firm size Historical trends Law Society data on the number of partners in individual private law firms provide information on changes in firm sizes, and show a number of such changes over recent years. The number of firms with more than 20 partners has increased from 13 in 1988 to 24 in The number of sole practitioner firms has increased substantially over that period, from 1,587 to 3,036. By contrast, firms with 2 to 20 partners decreased over the same period: firms with 2 to 4 partners dropped from 739 to 582, firms with 5 to 10 partners dropped from 102 to 71, and firms with 11 to 20 partners dropped from 13 to 12. These changes mean that the percentages of firms in each size category as a proportion of total firms have also changed. In 1988, 64.7% of firms involved sole practitioners; by 2003, this figure had risen to 81.5%. Two to four partner firms constituted 30.1% of all firms in 1988, but only 15.6% in Firms with 5 to 10 partners dropped from 4.2% of firms to 1.9% during this period, while firms with 11 to 20 partners dropped from 0.5% to 0.3%. Meanwhile, the proportion of firms with more than 20 partners rose slightly in percentage terms, from 0.5% in 1988 to 0.6% in

22 As with trends in the total number of firms, these changes appear to have slowed somewhat over the last several years Assumptions Projections of the number of firms in each size category are based on changes in the proportion of total firms in each category, as described above. Because of the recent slowdown in these trends, the figures used to calculate future annual changes are somewhat below the historical averages. Projections of the proportion of firms with 2 to 4 partners are based on an annual decline of 2.5% in the number of firms in this category as a proportion of total firms (compared to the historical average of 4.3%). For firms with 5 to 10 partners, an annual decline of 4.0% has been assumed (as against a historical average of 5.1%); and for firms with 11 to 10 partners, an annual decline of 2.0% (the historical average being 3.3%). For firms with more than 20 partners, we have assumed an annual growth of 1.1%, compared to the past average growth rate of 1.3%. For sole practitioner firms, the annual growth rate has been calculated on a residual basis using the above assumptions in mind. By this method, the growth rate in the number of sole practitioners as a proportion of total firms is 0.5% per year, compared to the annual average of 1.6% between 1996 and Projections Sole practitioner firms are projected to grow from 81.5% of all firms in 2003 to 86.3% in The total number of sole practitioners would grow from 3,036 to 3,824 over this period. Firms with 2 to 4 partners are projected to fall from 15.6% of all firms in 2003 to 11.5% in 2015; the number of firms in this category would drop from 582 to 511. Firms with 5 to 10 partners are projected to fall from 1.9% of all firms in 2003 to 1.2% in 2015, with the number of firms in this category dropping from 71 to 52. Firms with 11 to 20 partners are projected to fall from 0.32% of all firms in 2003 to 0.25% in The number of firms in this category would drop from 12 to

23 Finally, firms with more than 20 partners are projected to rise from 0.6% of all firms in 2003 to 0.7% in The number of firms in this category would increase from 24 to 33. Changes in sole practitioner firms are illustrated in Figure 5.2. Table 13b in Appendix A provides the numbers for the projections of all firm size categories. Figure 5.2: Number of Sole Practitioners and Percentage of Total Firms, , % Total number of sole practitioners 3,000 2,000 1,000 Sole practitioners % of Total Firms 90% 80% 70% Percentage of total firms % Year 19

24 6 Income The Law Society has collected information on solicitors incomes through its annual Practising Certificate survey since This section presents projections relating to the average incomes of all solicitors, as well as average incomes by gender and by sector of employment. 6.1 Overall income Historical trends Solicitors average reported incomes rose substantially between 1998 and 2004, from $72,700 to $85,900. This represents an increase in nominal incomes of 18.2%. However, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that over a comparable period, overall wages in Australia rose by a greater amount 21.6%. 4 In fact, solicitors average incomes over this period, as reported in Practising Certificate surveys, did not match the rise in the cost of living, which rose by 19.5% Assumptions Over this period, solicitors overall incomes rose by an average of 2.9% per year, and this figure has been employed to project nominal incomes into the future. To gain a picture of solicitors real incomes in 2015, it has been assumed that the cost of living will rise by an average of 2% per year Projections The average nominal income for all solicitors is projected to rise to $121,900 in The average real income based on annual increases in the cost of living of 2% - is projected to rise to $93,400 in 2004 dollars. Figure 6.1 depicts these projections. 4 Based on Wage Cost Index data on total hourly rates of pay, excluding bonuses, for the period March 1998-March Based on Consumer Price Index data for NSW from 1997/ /04. 20

25 Figure 6.1: Average Nominal and Real Income for all Solicitors, $120 Annual income ('000) $110 $100 $90 $80 Total nom real $ Year 6.2 Income by gender Historical trends Female practitioners have consistently reported lower incomes than males in the Practising Certificate survey. In 1988, the average income reported by female respondents was $59,400, while for males it was $79,200. In 2004, the average female income was $73,100; while the male average was $94, Assumptions Because some of the differences between male and female incomes will be attributable to the different rates of full time and part time work as well as to different lengths of time since admission, data on full time solicitors only have been used to calculate projections of average incomes by gender. This information is available for the period 2000 to Over this period, average male incomes rose by an average of 3.0% per year, while average female incomes rose 3.5%. These figures have been used to project average incomes into the future. 21

26 6.2.3 Projections The average nominal income for full time male solicitors is projected to rise to $130,300 in This equates to an average real income of $109,100 in 2004 dollars. The average nominal income for full time female solicitors is projected to rise to $106,900 in This equates to an average real income of $85,600 in 2004 dollars. Figure 6.2 illustrates projections of the nominal and real incomes for full time solicitors by gender. Figure 6.2: Average Nominal and Real Income by Gender, $140 Annual income ('000) $130 $120 $110 $100 $90 $80 $70 Male Female nom real nom real $ Year 6.3 Income by Sector of Employment Historical trends Since 1998, corporate solicitors have reported higher incomes than private practitioners, while private practitioners have in turn reported higher incomes than government solicitors. Over the period 1998 to 2004, the average income for corporate solicitors rose from $110,500 to $127,200; for private practitioners, the average income rose from $72,900 to $84,900; and for government solicitors, it rose from $59,700 to $72,

27 6.3.2 Assumptions Between 1998 and 2003, the incomes of corporate solicitors rose by an average of 3.5% per year, for private practitioners by 2.6% per year, and for government solicitors by 3.2% per year. These figures have been used to project average incomes for solicitors in each sector of employment into the future Projections The average nominal income for corporate solicitors is projected to rise to $158,800 in This equates to an average real income of $127,200 in 2004 dollars. The average nominal income for private practitioners is projected to rise to $112,400 in This equates to an average real income of $90,000 in 2004 dollars. The average nominal income for government solicitors is projected to rise to $102,500 in This equates to an average real income of $82,000 in 2004 dollars. Figure 6.3 depicts projections of real incomes for each sector of employment. Figure 6.3: Average Real Income by Sector of Employment in 2004 dollars, $160 $140 Annual income ('000) $120 $100 $80 $60 $40 Coprporate Private Government Year The numbers on which the various income projections are based are provided in Tables 14 and 15 in Appendix A. 23

28 7 Working Patterns The Law Society collects data on various aspects of solicitors working conditions through its annual Practising Certificate survey. This section deals with information on the working patterns of solicitors in New South Wales. 7.1 Full time and part time work Historical trends Data on the percentages of survey respondents working full time and part time is available dating back to Adjusted for non-response, these data show a decline in the proportion of solicitors working full time, and an associated rise in the proportion working part time. In 1995, 92.2% of solicitors worked full time and 7.8% worked part time. By 2004, 89.1% worked full time and 10.9 worked part time. However, much of this change occurred from 2003 to 2004, calling into question the accuracy of the 2003 and/or 2004 data. Nevertheless, a drop in full time work and a rise in part time work is still identifiable between 1995 and Unlike solicitors generally, the full time/part time split has not changed greatly for either males or females: the proportion of males working full time dropped from 94.9% in 1995 to 94.8% in 2003, while for females it dropped from 84.7% to 84.2% over the same period. This compares to a much greater decrease in the proportion of overall solicitors working full time from 92.2% in 1995 to 90.5% in Thus, much of this overall change can be attributed to the growing proportion of female solicitors in recent years Assumptions Because of the uncertain accuracy of 2004 PC survey data on the full time/part time split, projections have been based on the average annual decline in the proportion of solicitors working full time between 1995 and For all solicitors, this figure is 0.22%. For males, the average annual decline was 0.01%, while for females it was 0.07%. The percentage working part time has been extrapolated from the projections for full time workers. 24

29 7.1.3 Projections Based on these assumptions, proportion of all solicitors working full time is projected to fall to 88.1%, with 11.9% working part time; for males, 94.7% would work full time and 5.3% part time; and for females the breakdown would be 83.5% full time and 16.5% part time. These projections are illustrated in Figures 7.1 and 7.2. The numbers on which they are based are given in Table 16 in Appendix A. Figure 7.1: Proportion of Solicitors Working Full time, % % of solicitors working full time 95% 90% 85% 80% Male Total Female Year 25

30 Figure 7.2: Proportion of Solicitors Working Part time, % of solicitors working part time 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Female Total Male Year 7.2 Mean working hours The PC survey also collects information on solicitors weekly working hours. Data on mean working hours for part time workers dates are available from 1997 to 2004, while data on mean working hours for those working full time are available from 1999 to While these do not provide sufficient basis to make accurate projections of mean working hours, they do provide some insight into recent trends in working patterns. Since 1997, part time solicitors have reported longer working hours, with a rise in mean working hours from 19.4 hours in 1997 to 23.7 hours in Males in part time work, in particular, have been reporting more hours, from an average of 17.5 in 1997 to 22.5 in 2004; this compares with an increase from 20.6 to 24.2 hours for female solicitors working part time over the same period. These trends are illustrated in Figure 7.3; Table 17 in Appendix A provides the average working hours for male and female solicitors between 1997 and Meanwhile, the average working week for solicitors working full time fell slightly between 1999 and 2004, from 50.8 hours to The fall in full time hours was spread relatively evenly across male and female solicitors. Males, however, continued to report longer hours of work than females; in 2004, males reported working an average of 50.9 hours, compared to 48.1 for females. Figure 7.4 illustrates these changes. 26

31 7.2.1 Future implications Based on the trends described above, full time solicitors are predicted to work shorter hours in the coming years. Full time males, however, would still be expected to work longer hours than their full time female colleagues. Part time solicitors particularly males are predicted to work longer hours than they are at present. However, part time females would still be expected to work longer hours than part time males. Figure 7.3: Average Hours Worked per Week by Part Time Solicitors, Average hoursworked per week Year Female Total Male 27

32 Figure 7.4: Average Hours Worked per Week by Full Time Solicitors, Average hoursworked per week Male Total Female Year 28

33 8 Areas of practice Data on the areas in which solicitors practice law is derived from the Law Society s annual practising certificate survey. Since 1993, solicitors have been asked to nominate those areas of law in which they spend 25% or more of their time. Response rates to this question have been variable from year to year, and fluctuations in response rates to both the areas of practice question and the survey generally have made the data somewhat unreliable. The areas in which solicitors practise law is also heavily influenced by a range of unpredictable factors, such as legislative and government policy changes. For these reasons, we have not made quantitative projections relating to areas of practice based on the information collected in the practicing certificate surveys. However, the survey data do show a number of patterns in the areas of practice that survey respondents nominated from year to year, and these patterns provide some indication of likely trends over coming years. The area of practice most commonly nominated by respondents to the 2004 practising certificate survey was Conveyancing/Real Property, at 32%; this proportion declined considerably between 1993 and 2001, but has remained relatively steady since that time. Commercial Litigation was the next most common (31%), and has been rising slightly since Civil Litigation (26%) also remained steady recently. Wills and Estates (20%) rose every year between 2000 and 2004, suggesting that this area of practice may continue to become more common in years to come. Table 8.1 lists areas of practice according to whether they are becoming more or less common, or whether they have remained steady over recent years. It also provides information on the percentages of respondents in the 2004 practising certificate survey who nominated each area. Areas have been categorised as rising or falling only where an identifiable trend has been noted; otherwise they have been classified as steady. Table 18 in Appendix A provides the data on which these trends are based. It shows that the areas of practice with particularly noticeable changes are Personal Injury, which has been dropping since 1997, and Immigration Law, which has been growing since 2000 (although the proportions of solicitors nominating Immigration Law has been quite small over that time). 29

34 Table 8.1: Recent Trends in Areas of Practice Area of practice Trend 2004 PC survey result Commercial Law Rising 31.2% Wills and Estates Rising 20.4% Family Law Rising 15.8% Industrial Relations Law Rising 8.9% Administrative Law Rising 5.3% Immigration Law Rising 2.5% Personal Injury Falling 12.1% Corporations Law Falling 11.6% Small Business Law Falling 10.0% Banking/Finance Falling 7.5% Advocacy Falling 6.5% Conveyancing/Real Property Steady 32.2% Civil Litigation Steady 25.5% Criminal Law Steady 13.8% Debts/Insolvency Steady 7.8% Intellectual Property Steady 6.7% Trade Practices Law Steady 5.4% Planning/Local Government Steady 3.8% Taxation Steady 3.4% Environmental Law Steady 2.9% Product Liability Steady 1.4% 30

35 appendices APPENDIX A TABLES The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

36 appendices Table 1: Number of Solicitors per 1,000 People in New South Wales Year Solicitors per 1,000 people Year-on-year change (%) % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

37 appendices Table 2: Number of Solicitors in New South Wales, Year Solicitors per 1,000 people ,808 Year-on-year change (%) , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % , % The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

38 appendices Table 3: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in New South Wales, Year Male solicitors Year-on-year change Female solicitors ,829 1,979 Year-on-year change , % 2, % , % 2, % , % 2, % , % 2, % , % 3, % , % 3, % , % 3, % , % 3, % , % 4, % , % 4, % , % 4, % , % 5, % , % 5, % , % 6, % , % 6, % , % 7, % , % 8, % , % 8, % , % 9, % , % 9, % , % 10, % , % 10, % , % 11, % , % 11, % , % 12, % , % 12, % , % 13, % The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

39 appendices Table 4: Proportion of Male and Female Solicitors in New South Wales, Year Male solicitors Year-on-year change Female solicitors % 20.2% Year-on-year change % -1.2% 21.1% +4.7% % -1.4% 22.2% +5.2% % -1.6% 23.5% +5.5% % -1.2% 24.4% +3.9% % -2.0% 25.9% +6.3% % -1.2% 26.8% +3.4% % -1.3% 27.8% +3.7% % -2.1% 29.3% +5.5% % -1.8% 30.6% +4.3% % -2.3% 32.1% +5.1% % -1.6% 33.2% +3.4% % -2.0% 34.6% +4.1% % -1.8% 35.8% +3.4% % -2.0% 37.1% +3.6% % -2.4% 38.6% +4.0% % -2.2% 39.9% +3.5% % -2.2% 41.2% +3.3% % -2.2% 42.5% +3.1% % -2.2% 43.8% +2.9% % -2.1% 45.0% +2.7% % -2.1% 46.1% +2.6% % -2.1% 47.2% +2.4% % -2.0% 48.3% +2.3% % -2.0% 49.3% +2.1% % -2.0% 50.3% +2.0% % -1.9% 51.3% +1.9% % -1.9% 52.2% +1.8% The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

40 appendices Table 5: Age Profile of Male Solicitors, (Percentages) < Table 6: Age Profile of Female Solicitors, (Percentages) < The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

41 appendices Table 7: Size of the Private, Corporate and Government Sectors, Private practice Corporate legal Government legal Number % Number % Number % , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Note: The totals for each sector in this table do not equal the total size of the profession as reported in Table 2 in this Appendix. The difference is accounted for by those solicitors classified as other not falling into the private, corporate or government categories. The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

42 appendices Table 8: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in Private Practice, Males Females Total Number % Number % , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,619 The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

43 appendices Table 9: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in the Corporate Sector, Males Females Total Number % Number % The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

44 appendices Table 10: Number of Male and Female Solicitors in the Government Sector, Males Females Number % Number % Total , , , , , , , , , % 1, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2, , % 2,678 The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

45 appendices Table 11: Working Locations of Individual Solicitors, City Suburban Country Number % Number % Number % , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

46 appendices Table 12: Number of Firms and Solicitors per Firm by Location Type, Number of firms City Suburban Country Solicitors per firm Number of firms Solicitors per firm Number of firms Solicitors per firm , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , The Solicitors of New South Wales in 2015 Draft Report J79-04

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