Millennials in BigLaw Value Work-Life Balance Over Pay

Source: Legal News

By Anamika Roy, Legal News

Millennials still view making partner as a long-term career goal and value work-life balance at the expense of financial gain, according to a nationwide survey.

Nearly 50 percent of the millennial respondents still cited compensation as a factor in accepting an employment offer, but it was not the leading determinant, according to the survey, conducted by legal search firm Major, Lindsey & Africa and the Above the Law website. Millennials still cited compensation as a factor in accepting an employment offer, but it was not the leading determinant, falling behind firm culture, work-life balance and career path opportunities when deciding whether to accept a position.

"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 the Associate Practice Group of Major, Lindsey & Africa. "In fact, millennial lawyers are nearly demanding it of firms, causing firms to offer remote work, off-track roles and other flexible arrangements."

In examining generational differences between associates and partners, the survey found that respondents across the two groups agree the legal profession has a long way to go to reach gender equality. One-third of associates and about one-third of partners agree that U.S. law firm culture is inherently sexist. However, groups differ on the importance of diversity: Nearly 40 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," said Ru Bhatt, managing director in Major, Lindsey & Africa's associate practice group. "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."


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