October 2020. It’s been a long, tough year for many globally and the light at the end of the tunnel remains some way off while the world waits on the development of vaccines to combat COVID-19 and continues to juggle lockdowns/restrictions with economic recovery.
From our small corner of the world that is the Japan legal job market, we are happy to note less doom and gloom than 6 months ago. While the collective market is far from recovered, it is encouraging to see hiring resume these past 6-8 weeks. It is patchy and still far from the levels of the past 6-8 years, but there is progress, especially with companies looking for in-house lawyers and compliance professionals (law firms less so – yet).
We cannot point to a single reason for this uptick – we are seeing new roles being created in addition to replacement hires – although there does seem to be a general desire to just get on with business. Whether people are still working from home, have returned to the office, or are doing a combination of both, many employers are now used to this new work environment and do seem to be making the best of it. Q2 and Q3 were barren for many recruiters so this is both welcome and makes sense; life must go on, people need to feed their families.
Who knows where things go from here but we are quietly confident that demand for lawyers and compliance professionals will continue to increase from here on out, even if it is slow for the foreseeable future.