Hanover, MD – April 20, 2021 – As the legal industry implemented widescale remote work for the first time amid the pandemic, more than 60% of Gen Z law students are hoping for fully flexible work arrangements once they begin their careers, according to the Gen Z Survey recently released by Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA), the world’s largest legal search firm. An additional 20% of respondents said they would ideally like set remote work days, while 6% said they would prefer full-time remote work. Furthermore, mentorship is highly important to this generation, with more than a quarter of respondents ranking formalized training programs as the most important aspect of firm life. The MLA Gen Z Survey was conducted between February 2021 to March 2021.
“Our survey found that the COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the career aspirations of Gen Z law students and aspiring attorneys,” said Jackie Bokser LeFebvre, a Managing Director in MLA’s Associate Practice Group and a co-author of the survey. “This generation deeply values flexible work arrangements – a desire that was only amplified as a result of the pandemic. With Gen Z also placing a premium on strong mentorship and training programs, firms will be faced with balancing these at-times competing priorities in a field where in-person mentorship has long been the norm.”
Work-life balance has also consistently ranked as a top priority for Gen Z. Thirty percent of respondents said they would consider a cut in compensation for more flexible work arrangements, while 21% said they would trade compensation for more time off. At the same time, financial stability remains important to this next generation of lawyers: 45% said they planned to pursue a career in BigLaw after graduation.
Other highlights of the survey included:
“Though Gen Z values financial stability, they also place a unique level of importance on pursuing purpose-driven legal work. As law firms strategize around recruiting and retaining top entry-level associate talent, developing pathways for young attorneys to pursue this work in a meaningful way will be incredibly important,” said Nathan Peart, a Managing Director in MLA’s Associate Practice Group and a survey co-author. “Work-life balance and flexibility have also become more significant for associates during the pandemic. Firms that can demonstrate their commitment to supporting attorneys’ well-being will be well-positioned to attract and keep this newest class of associates.”
The full text of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Gen Z Survey is available here.
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