Are Millennials Driving Up Billables?

By Vivia Chen

I hate to say this, but I told you so.

Remember all that fuss about how millennials are high-maintenance brats who don’t have the same work ethic as their elders? The American Lawyer devoted a whole issue to the topic in March, declaring that millennials “are a different breed” and questioning how Big Law should adjust. It predicted that “growing older and settling down probably will not make them conform as much as their elders seem to think.”

As you might expect, I took a contrary view. “Millennial, Schmillennial,”  I wrote. From what I’ve seen, this is not a generation of revolutionaries that’s out to change Big Law. If anything, they were bred to please.

In a nutshell, they see themselves as being indispensable to their jobs—or want desperately to project that image. A perfect brew of narcissism and paranoia that should make them ideal associates!

Ru Bhatt, managing director at recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa, offers a more nuanced view: “I think they’re workaholics because they’re constantly connected and cranking work out.” A millennial himself, Bhatt says his generation just doesn’t turn off.

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