With a host of submission and client based rankings in place, the inaugural Vahura Best Law Firm to Work Survey 2018 (the “Vahura Survey”) is unique in that it exclusively relies on what lawyers think about the firms they practice in. It is a ranking by lawyers, about lawyers, for lawyers. The results and the rankings in this report, are the product of survey responses provided by over 1200 lawyers which comprises over 10% of law firm lawyers in India.
As legal recruitment is our primary service offering, we are constantly meeting lawyers from various firms across the country. In these intimate conversations, we get a “tell-all” view on a range of issues about firms - working hours, leadership challenges, remuneration based discrimination, restrictions on personal habits (what one can eat or wear) - and also some matters pertaining to safety and comfort at the workplace. These conversations over the last decade, have informed and shaped the survey and this report. This report in many ways, is an aggregate of the numerous conversations that happen at the water-cooler or watering hole.
The launch of this survey was met with conflicting reactions from the law firm fraternity. some were apprehensive about confidentiality, or insecure about how their lawyers would rate them. Others were open, curious and actively encouraged their teams to participate. It is no surprise that the firms that were more open and encouraging, have received more positive reviews from their own lawyers.
There are some aspects of the law firm life that we have not fully covered in this survey - such as diversity parameters that go beyond gender. We hope to take it up in a separate and more exclusive study. Indeed, we hope that this is the beginning of a movement, where law firm leaders give prime importance to how they treat and nurture lawyers, as people and not just fee-earners.
This Report and the Rankings, are a summary of the responses received in the Vahura Survey. The Survey was exclusive to law firms and lawyers in India. The Vahura Survey consisted of 30 questions, which were grouped into the following six (6) parameters. In addition, we have also curated The Lawyer’s Choice Rankings which is purely based on top 3 preferences of lawyers with respect to firms and partners in their corresponding practice areas and are put down in alphabetical order. These ratings/rankings were given by lawyers specifically in relation to other firms, and not their own.
Culture encompasses the character and personality of a firm. It is what makes the firm unique and is the product of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.
Firm leadership is looked upon as the ability of the firm’s partners to set and achieve challenging goals, take swift, inclusive and decisive action, follow through on promises, and inspire team members to perform well. More importantly, it manifests the ability to develop and communicate a clear strategy and vision for the firm.
Satisfaction is attributed to the feeling of achievement that a professional experiences when they know that their work is worth doing. It signifies the extent to which a professional feels self-motivated, content and satisfied with the quality of work and clients they work with.
The level of fulfillment and prestige one feels to be associated with his/her firm for the respect it commands in the market but more importantly for the degree of trust, responsibility, and authority that the firm reposes in them.
REWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Rewards and Recognition come into play when a firm believes in distributional and procedural fairness in rewarding their lawyers not just by way of monetary compensation, but also by recognizing them beyond financial rewards. In addition to adequately compensating and promoting high-performance lawyers, the firm genuinely recognizes and appreciates the effort and time that professionals put into their work.
Work-life balance is not merely about allocation of time for both personal and professional needs. It is where the firm understands a professional’s commitments beyond their professional life focusing on improving the person's overall quality of life.
The survey was shared with professionals in three ways. The first, was to directly share it with professionals on the Vahura database. Second, was to share it with law firm leaders, who then shared it internally within the firm. Lastly, there was a social media campaign to spread the word on the survey. The first and third outreach measures, were initiated first, in order to receive organic responses from the lawyer community. This outreach strategy was specially designed from a validation perspective.
More than 1200 professionals participated in the Survey, representing 140 firms across India. The Vahura Best Law Firm to Work - Ranking 2018, recognises law firms in three categories* namely:
*The categorisation has been engineered keeping in mind the number of professionals, practice area specialisation and the partner to team members ratio.
Vahura works with law firms to identify and incorporate best practices, many of which have been brought to light in this first edition of the Vahura Best Law Firms to Work - Rankings 2018. Our research, analysis and study aims at creating and recognizing best law firm practices from a global perspective.
It is not easy creating and sustaining a great place to work especially in the legal domain, but, wherever you are on that journey, we can help – from data insights and market studies, to leadership training programs. We can design tailor-made solutions such as comparative reports on the best industry practices.
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