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Since its launch five years ago, the Employee Satisfaction Survey - Legal Week‘s annual report on the attitudes, priorities and morale of lawyers at major law firms - has always been interesting reading. But for several reasons this year, it promises to be even more so. Firstly and most obviously, major law firms have engaged in an unprecedented round of job cuts since the last report was conducted. The long-term impact of that is as yet largely theoretical, as the legal industry has so little experience of widespread job losses. Law firms are quite logically calculating that tending to the whims of assistants is less pressing in a recession, when staff become less full of their own importance and rather happier to just have a job.

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