Recruiting and retaining staff is a national issue for the conveyancing industry, especially as the role of property lawyers can often be viewed as stressful and undervalued. In fact, in September 2022, 74% of Residential Property Solicitors and Conveyancers stated that recruiting and retaining staff remains a challenge.
As part of National Conveyancing Week, our Managing Director, Rob Gurney, shares his thoughts on this matter.
- What got you into conveyancing?
It actually wasn’t my intended path! Although I studied Law at university, I didn’t have a strong ambition to dedicate my life to the legal industry. But, when it came to finding my first job, the first offer I received was within the residential conveyancing department of a mid-sized law firm. The opportunity and the team were great, I learned quickly, and was soon out-billing the senior partner!
- What keeps you in conveyancing?
A previous role as a Senior Director and Head of Legal for a large conveyancing firm kept me busy for almost twenty years. Each day offered different challenges, new learnings, huge rewards and a real sense of accomplishment. As we all know, conveyancing can be tough, but the satisfaction I gained from securing and helping clients move into their dream homes was pretty incredible, and is the primary reason I remained in conveyancing.
- How can we attract newcomers?
Conveyancing does not always get the greatest of press, mainly because it is often misunderstood and the breadth and complexity of modern regulation means it’s also probably under-appreciated. The responsibilities added to the role of conveyancer in the past 20 years or so have been considerable, but rarely acknowledged. I think we need to do two things to attract more newcomers to the profession. First, we should better educate consumers and other stakeholders about the range of complexities in the role today. Second, we should attempt to eradicate as many inefficient tasks and use as much automation as possible, leaving the lawyers to do more of what they do best (and love most) – the legal work!
- What words of wisdom do you have for those looking to choose Conveyancing as a career path?
The conveyancing industry is on the cusp of change, with technology currently being developed that will transform how this legal service is processed and delivered to the customer. So, my advice is simply this – don’t resist change, but immerse yourself in it. Consumer behaviour and expectations have changed, and modern digital solutions are now demanded. Meet these new expectations, and your career should be a happier and a more prosperous one.