Top 5 Reasons Associates Leave Firms

Source: Law360

By Dani Meyer

Every associate's decision to leave a firm is unique to them, but there are common reasons why they decamp for another firm or even another career, from a lack of work-life balance to a desire to do meaningful work. Here, experts discuss what drives associates to leave their law firms.

A lot of associates do understand that they're working in a client-driven environment and can't necessarily have predictable schedules, says Ru Bhatt, a managing director in the associate practice group at Major, Lindsey & Africa LLC. But as part of work-life balance, they still want flexibility in the workplace, including the ability to work from home or outside the office.

A Lack Of Mentorship

Bhatt has encountered a number of associates looking for a mentor or guidance counselor who can look out for them and ensure they're developing professionally. If associates don't have that at their firm or their mentor leaves for another firm, they often seek a new place environment where partners want to help.

A lot of them look to go to a firm where they can find that person that's going to cultivate them maybe into a leadership role," Bhatt said.

Limited Meaningful Work

Bhatt also identifies a desire to have do meaningful or impactful work as one of the key reasons why associates leave firms, especially with the younger generation of lawyers.

"I think what tends to happen for a majority of associates is they start their careers at a large firm or within a larger practice group, and they want a high level of responsibility early on. But law firms tend to be very hierarchical and it's a little difficult for them to gain that experience early on," Bhatt said.

Read more of this feature at Law360.

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