05 September 2020

More than 50% of in-house lawyers are confident of keeping their jobs during the pandemic

According to a survey made by The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), 50.9% of the in-house lawyers were “not at all” concerned about losing their job. 26.1% reported being only “a little” concerned. 16.9% are actively looking for new employment. Moreover, 76.5 percent of respondents shared that to date, their compensation has not gone down due to the pandemic.

Patricia Trudeau, vice president and chief administrative officer of ACC said: “COVID-19 is causing businesses around the world to adjust their operations, and corporate law departments are no different".

“This snapshot offers some encouraging news, especially that a majority of respondents are not concerned about losing their jobs or experiencing a reduction in compensation. That said, it also highlights the fact that many in-house counsel and law departments are not getting by unscathed, as they continue to face considerable personal and organizational challenges as a result of this pandemic", explained Trudeau. 

In terms of hiring, 33.5% expect no changes, although almost as many 27.9% has issued a hiring freeze, and 11.2% reported terminations or layoffs in the legal team. 9.5% reported implementing furloughs. Legal teams are attempting to prevent taking these actions through a combination of work from home, which saves money (62.7%); general cost-cutting (51.9%); and various austerity measures, including reduced bonuses and executive pay, reduced hours, and voluntary leaves of absence.

Respondents seemed more or less evenly split regarding how layoffs or hiring freezes are impacting their workload: 38.1%, the plurality, said “some” as opposed to “not at all” (17.1%), “a little” (23.2%), or “a lot” (21.5%). Most respondents (70.2%) expect no change in their formal performance review due to COVID.

This poll opened on August 4 and closed on August 10. 486 ACC members participated in this survey.

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