In partnership with Law360, Major, Lindsey & Africa developed a list of 28 characteristics commonly attributed to the idea of “culture.” Our goal was to gain a more nuanced understanding of what traits most immediately define a firm's culture and to identify how firms compare to each other. There were 752 respondents from 361 unique law firms in 94 markets in the U.S.
The results revealed some interesting insights into law firm culture, including:
- Attorneys generally feel that their firms’ top values align with their own, including integrity, emphasis on well-being and work-life balance, and placing a premium on training and mentoring.
- Across all levels of attorneys surveyed, 78% of respondents cited a high priority on client service as embodying a key element of their firm’s culture. Only two other traits – good fiscal management and integrity – were cited by over 50% of respondents.
- While diversity was a priority trait for many attorneys, respondents’ assessments of firm diversity efforts were mixed. Thirty-six percent of respondents identified the presence of women and people of color in firm leadership roles as a positive trait embodying their firm’s culture. At the same time, 38% of respondents named diversity in race, gender, ethnicity, and religion as a trait that they’d like to see more prominently reflected in firm culture.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, support for well-being and work-life balance was a highly valued element of firm culture, particularly among Millennials. Forty-four percent of respondents cited this as a trait that best embodied their firm’s culture, while 36% wanted to see this trait more prominently reflected in firm culture.