Millennials in the Legal Profession

By 23 november 2022 No Comments

Just as the legal industry has had to adapt to rapid technological change in recent years, law firm management must learn to adapt its practices and culture to the needs of millennials and make efforts to bridge generational differences if it wants to retain employees. Recent studies show that lawyer turnover, especially among junior lawyers, has reached new heights. In particular, the group`s work has focused not only on working conditions within the legal profession, but also on the role of corporate lawyers in policy-making, including non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, which they believe can restrict workers` rights and silence victims of workplace abuse across sectors. There is ample evidence that a broader approach to recruitment, which focuses less primarily on recruiting a select group of privileged graduates, would have a mitigating effect by ensuring that the legal industry has a proportion of young lawyers who aspire to succeed rather than having a recognized sense of their own importance. One of the reasons why the generation of partners aged 40 to 50 was probably encouraged to get involved was that the profession was recruited from a wider range of backgrounds. Millennials, born between 1981 and 1997, are the largest working generation in many countries around the world, and their numbers continue to grow in the legal profession. The results of a survey like this show that now is the time for the legal industry to take the lead and recognize that overworked young employees are not just resources, but people. However, we see a big difference in the average length of time millennials are employed in a new job, and the legal industry is no different. Legal recruiters are seeing an increase in the number of young employees changing jobs at an alarming rate. While Boomer and Gen X lawyers have patiently “paid their dues,” millennial lawyers don`t hesitate to vote with their feet and try a new law firm or even a new career. These revenues cost law firms about $1 billion a year, according to Thomson West. In particular, a millennial lawyer will quit a job, not only if he is unhappy, but if he is not happy enough.

In addition, 23,000 young professionals from various fields shared their top needs as part of Deloitte`s 10th Millennial and Gen Z Survey, highlighting the need for mental health support in the workplace. In collaboration with Carlyle Kingswood Global, GC Magazine brought together leading in-house counsel from London to discuss the evolving role of the General Counsel and the skills required to lead the legal function of a modern company. The online exchange reignited pressure to complete the bar exam when a group of 2020 law school graduates, including 27-year-old Donna Saadati-Soto and Pilar Escontrías, met via the Facebook group and formed a grassroots movement they called United For Diploma Privilege. The name referred to a model of bar admission, in which law school graduates are allowed to practice law without additional qualification requirements. It`s important to note that millennials don`t feel comfortable splitting their lives between work, family, friends, charity, and play. While “work-life balance” became the battle cry of Gen X in the 1990s, millennials are opting for a “work-life mix” where they seek to achieve personal, professional and charitable goals across a continuous spectrum of life experiences. Millennials avoid the idea of balancing work ambitions with life`s desires because they are part of the same continuum for this generation. While there are many common goals between Gen Z and Gen Y, it`s a mistake to lump millennial culture and Gen Z culture together. According to Eliza Stoker in her article Major, Lindsey & Africa, “It`s time for law firms to talk about Gen Z, “Like millennials, Gen Z expects a workplace that is flexible to their schedule and leverages technology so they can work outside the office.” However, she continues, “Employers should exercise caution before assuming that the two generations operate completely in the same way.” Let me give you an example. Millennials overwhelmingly believe in doing good by doing good, that is, working hard to make the world a more beautiful place through their chosen profession.

Some Gen Xers and baby boomers have chosen a career to realize this value, while many others have used their careers as a springboard to engage socially outside of work (e.g., serving on charitable boards and donating to deserving charities). Unlike Gen Xers and baby boomers, who feel comfortable outside of work giving back to their communities, millennials believe work should be the way they make the world a better place. While fulfilling the role of lawyer and meeting the traditional expectations of the position will come naturally for most, human resource management is a more challenging prospect for many. In today`s business environment, which will only get harder as the next generation – the so-called millennials – infiltrate the ranks of the legal profession before it dominates them.