But what are they, exactly?
Lawyers are receiving some good press for once, after new research claims that the legal sector is good for the economy.
In what’s shaping up to be a good week for the legal profession, research has revealed that lawyers were behind a £26 billion hike for the UK economy last year.
Growth in the legal services sector has dwarfed the country’s overall rate of economic progress. Over the past decade, the sector has grown by an average of 3.3% every year, well above the average rate of 1.2%.
Catherine Dixon — Law Society chief executive — said that the figures showed “that growth in legal services significantly contributes to the wider economy, boosting investment and jobs”.
Indeed, the headline figure from the research is that last year lawyers created an impressive 8,000 additional jobs — that’s nearly 20 times as high as the number of training contracts offered by the magic circle each year.
However, when Legal Cheek reached out to the Law Society to find out how many of these were grad jobs, we found out that this information was not available. A spokesperson told us:
The model [used in the research], which is very sophisticated and well regarded, does not, however, break down jobs created by sector or type.
[T]o be clear, the model analyses the effects of an increase in output, for instance – so the jobs referred to are what the model shows are created with a one per cent increase in output in the legal sector; this is not an historical analysis – it is analysis of an economic modelling.
This doesn’t mean an awful lot to us. Nor does the fact that the report’s findings on the legal profession’s wider economic value were based on a “static input-output analysis assisted by Cambridge Econometrics” and “dynamic modelling undertaken by Oxford Economics.”
Which is well and good, and doubtless means something to the statisticians of the world, but wouldn’t it have been nice if the report had some concrete information? On the numbers of new training contacts offered in the past year, by way of example?