The year 2024 is poised to bring significant shifts in the legal sector of Australia, with implications extending to the realm of talent acquisition. The evolving legal landscape, driven by regulatory changes, technological disruption, and cultural shifts, presents both challenges and opportunities for law firms in recruiting top legal talent. This blog delves into the predominant issues that will influence the recruitment of legal professionals, offering insights for law firms to navigate these changes effectively.

trend 1: demand for technological proficiency

Technology's integration into legal practices is not just transforming how services are delivered, but also redefining the skills required from legal professionals. Randstad’s 2024 employment outlook survey highlighted that 83% of hiring managers expect AI will impact roles in 2024. Candidates with a strong grasp of legal tech, including AI, e-discovery, and data analytics, will be in high demand. Law firms must adapt their recruitment strategies to identify individuals who are not only legally astute but also technologically adept. This trend underscores the necessity for continuous learning and adaptability in the face of technological advancements, making it a pivotal factor in talent acquisition.

trend 2: specialisation in emerging legal areas

The legal field is witnessing a surge in specialised domains such as cybersecurity, environmental law, and digital privacy. With recent high-profile news stories of cyber attacks on Australian companies, data and privacy breaches, cybersecurity and digital privacy will remain a top priority for businesses throughout 2024. This trend means that law firms will increasingly seek candidates with niche expertise. The ability to navigate specific legal challenges, particularly in areas that intersect with technology and global regulations, will be a valuable asset. Law firms will need to focus on recruiting specialists who can offer in-depth knowledge and innovative solutions in these growing fields.

trend 3: emphasis on soft skills and adaptability

While technical skills are crucial, the importance of soft skills cannot be overstated. Our employment outlook research indicates that relationship management (35%)and creative skills (38%) are some of the top in-demand skills that hiring managers are looking for in 2024. Law firms should prioritise candidates who demonstrate strong communication, empathy, and problem-solving abilities. The ability to adapt to changing legal and business environments, work collaboratively in diverse teams, and build strong client relationships will be highly sought after. These skills are essential for navigating the complexities of modern legal practice and providing client-centric services.

an image of three colleagues chatting while wearing business suits
an image of three colleagues chatting while wearing business suits

trend 4: regulatory compliance and global mindset

With an ever-evolving regulatory landscape, especially in areas like financial services and international trade, law firms will need professionals who are not just well-versed in local laws but also possess a global perspective. Understanding the nuances of international law and being able to operate in a global context will be key skills for legal professionals. This trend will influence recruitment strategies to include a focus on international experience and regulatory expertise.

trend 5: work flexibility and culture

The post-pandemic work environment has permanently altered expectations around work flexibility. In 2024, offering flexible and hybrid work arrangements will be crucial for attracting and retaining legal talent. However, according to our research a flexible work environment still presents a challenge for employers, with productivity still the number one concern (58%)  amongst employers managing a flexible and hybrid workforce, followed by team connection and culture (45%). Legal firms need to consider how to optimise flexible work arrangements in order to balance the talent-led demand for flexible work with employer expectations for greater productivity and organisational efficiency, whilst maintaining a good workplace culture and team connectivity.  


In 2024, Australian law firms will navigate a complex talent acquisition landscape, marked by technological savvy, specialisation, soft skills, regulatory expertise, and flexible work cultures. Understanding these trends and adapting recruitment strategies accordingly will be vital for law firms to attract and retain the best legal professionals. As the industry continues to evolve, those who embrace these changes will be best positioned to thrive in the dynamic world of legal talent acquisition.

about the author
an image of a man wearing in a business attire smiling
an image of a man wearing in a business attire smiling

sam jacks

senior consultant - legal & compliance

Sam is Randstad’s expert Legal talent partner. Sam specialises in roles from qualified graduate lawyers all the way to Director level positions within private practice. He has a predominant focus on Legal Counsels, Corporate & General Counsels and other various in-house positions.