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Lawyers are closet Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Laurence Simons 16/05/12

  • 39% of lawyers would like to be entrepreneurs

International legal recruitment specialists, Laurence Simons conducted a survey of 323 lawyers posing the question, “If you hadn’t have chosen the legal path, which career might you have chosen to pursue instead?” 39% (the largest proportion of respondents) indicated Entrepreneur.

Less surprising are the 19.5% of lawyers who chose Politics, as over the last 20 years, a significant proportion of the Cabinet have had legal backgrounds. 15.8% selected Teaching, 12.1% said they would abandon the legal field to start up their own restaurant and 6.8% would consider a career as a Builder, Decorator, Electrician or Plumber. Only 6.8% selected Accountant as a career of choice.

Lucinda Moule, Laurence Simons Managing Director comments: “The results of the survey are quite surprising as they indicate that almost 40% of lawyers are thwarted entrepreneurs.

“During economic uncertainty, the ability to business develop is a skill at the fore of our clients’ requirements when looking to increase headcount. The fact that 39% of our audience consider themselves “would-be” entrepreneurs is extremely compelling as the ability to build relationships and sell, as well as, being technically proficient makes for the perfect candidate in today’s market”.

A recent survey showed that 51% of FTSE 100 CEOs come from finance and accounting backgrounds.* Legal backgrounds are not evident in the list of FTSE 100 CEOs.

Lucinda Moule continues: “Although it is a generalist view, lawyers and accountants are characteristically left brain dominant careers, whereas entrepreneurs are typically seen to be right brain dominant. One would have thought that there would be a more equal proportion of FTSE 100 CEOs from both the legal and accounting backgrounds; however this is not the case.

“It also seems surprising that so few lawyers chose Accountancy (6.8%) as an alternative career, as this is also a left brain dominant discipline. Perhaps this is a generation shift for the legal industry and we are about to see an influx of legal entrepreneurs who find themselves at the helm of our largest corporations”.


* FTSE 100 CEOs Demonstrate Strong Financial Leadership – Survey conducted by Robert Half