Young lawyers in Malaysia are finding the profession tough, with a recent survey indicated that more than 60% of them are considering to leave the profession within 5 years period.
The survey was done on Malaysian Bar, a legal body consisting about 12,500 members.
Generally, young lawyers are defined as those with less than 7 years of practice and working experience in the law field, or those who are below 40 years of age. They make up about one-fourth or 25% of the overall member size of the Bar.
Better salary, remuneration and pay, as well as advancement opportunities, are cited as the reasons why they’re considering to abandon their practice. Aspiring lawyers have also come to a realization that legal profession is less highly regarded by the citizens today, with the public confidence of the country’s judiciary system slumped to a new low after a series of scandals uncovered.
On top of that, more often than not, most will struggle to keep up with stacks of paperwork, while learning new experience. At the same time, they have to keep their clients satisfied and meet the company’s target of minimum billable hours. This translates to long hours of work and work exhaustion.
Additionally, the survey also indicated that majority of the new lawyers found themselves underpaid, especially for those who are working with smaller firms. Presently, a starting salary for a new lawyer ranges from RM1,500 to RM2,500, depending on the size, reputation and location of the firm. Medium to large firms pay better package, between RM2,800 and RM3,000.