By Aebra Coe, Law360
Millennial lawyers report they highly value work-life balance and firm culture, even at the expense of financial gain, according to the results of a survey released Wednesday.
Two-thirds of millennials in BigLaw said they would consider a job with fewer hours, even if it means less pay, and compensation fell behind firm culture, work-life balance and career path opportunities when it comes to deciding to accept a job offer, according to the results of a survey conducted by Major Lindsey & Africa in conjunction with Above the Law.
“In the past, most lawyers would not openly state that they desired a balance between work and personal life. However, to the millennial generation, work-life balance is much less taboo,” said Michelle Fivel, a partner in Major Lindsey's New York and Los Angeles offices. “In fact, millennial lawyers are nearly demanding it of firms, causing firms to offer remote work, off-track roles and other flexible arrangements.”
“The in-house counsel path is becoming less attractive to associates in law firms,” Fivel said.
Fivel attributes the strong sense of desire to stay on the partner track to the financial incentives of doing so: A number of large law firms raised associate pay over the summer, and profits per partner remain strong among the largest law firms in the U.S.
The survey also explored generational differences between associates and partners. Both groups agree that the legal profession has a long way to go to reach gender equality: 33 percent of associates and 32 percent of partners agree that U.S. law firm culture is inherently sexist. Despite this, the groups diverge in surprising ways when asked about the value they place on diversity. Only 39 percent of associates felt that diversity should be a priority for firms compared to 57 percent of partners.
“The fact that partners seem to care about the legal industry’s diversity problem more than associates indicate partners view the problem from a business perspective. Partners feel the pressure of clients demanding more diverse teams and see the positive impact of these teams, which amounts to an understanding of diversity’s crucial role,” said Ru Bhatt, managing director in Major Lindsey's associate practice group.
Read more of this article at Law360.