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Millennial Lawyers View Firm Model as 'Fundamentally Broken'


While many millennial lawyers view partnership as their long-term career goal, more than half believe the law firm business model is "fundamentally broken," according to a survey published Thursday, which also found a wide disparity between male and female attorneys in whether they think shop culture is sexist.

The biennial survey by Major Lindsey & Africa LLC and Above the Law looked at how millennials' evolving preferences and priorities have shifted workplace dynamics. In the inaugural edition of the report in 2017, partnership was the primary career goal for young lawyers. This year that sentiment continues, but with substantial criticism — especially among women — not only of the business model but also of firm culture and compensation structure.

Nearly 51% of the young lawyers polled agreed or strongly agreed that the firm business model is "fundamentally broken," and 66% agreed that firm partnership is less desirable than it was a generation ago.

Still, 40% of the millennial participants said they hope to be partners, a higher percentage than aspired to any other career path, according to the report. When broken down by gender, about 33% of male respondents said they want to make partner at their current firm, compared to almost 26% of the female participants.

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