Monday, August 2, 2010
Londoner John Flood updates his previous post on "The Future of Lawyers" today, and it's not difficult to read between the lines.
24% of associates plan to leave the legal profession in the next year.
Eight per cent want a career break and 16% are quitting the profession.
34% gave difficulty of work-life balance as main reason for leaving.
10% cited personality and management problems as another reason for departing, emphasizing gaps between management and employee communication.
OK, let's stop there.
24% of associates, i.e. those who haven't made partner yet.
8% want a vacation, and 16% realize that their get rich quick plan (including an appropriate mahogany desk, prime sports tickets, and 2 hour lunches) to go to law school didn't quite work out as it looked like it would on the various T.V. shows.
34% don't like the whole 5-day a week in an office, possibly in a suit, and not 3 days a week from 10-2 (with lunch) at Starbucks in shorts and sandals.
10% cited "personality and management problems." I think that means "don't you understand how lucky you are to have me working here?" "Gaps between management and employee communication" I think means "no, I'm not going to listen to you tell me how smart you are now that you've been here 4 months."
Flood picks out the following quote from the updates research as one of interest:
An absence of communication over the future of the profession, such as change from lock step to merit based pay, has been a catalyst for relationship issues between management and associates to surface. The survey found that 47% of partners had discussed plans to change their firms’ pay structure over the next five years, yet only 23% of associates believed such discussions were taking place.
Merit based pay?
1. claim to respect and praise; excellence; worth.
What is wrong with you law firm partners? When will you get the message that in order to keep associates you must respect and praise their excellence and worth (and be sure not to get too close to their law degree as the ink may still not be dry).
So to sum it up, a quarter of the young profession is leaving because they don't like being a lawyer (not that they ever thought of the concept), of those, 16% percent will find something else to do, 8% will do nothing while trying to find something else to do, 34% will find a job that gives them the "flex time" they need to "find themselves," and if partners don't get with the respect and praise of excellence and worth, more will leave.
I hope they leave soon.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.