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Cracking junior lawyers’ expectations

Cracking junior lawyers’ expectations

Junior lawyer

The bulk of junior lawyers still cite making partnership as the primary goal, however are prepared to leave their firms in two years or less.

According to a new report, Minding the Gap: Do Today’s Associates Defy Generational Stereotypes, published by Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA Global), out of the 1,200 plus respondents, 33.93 per cent state that making partnership is their ultimate goal.

However, the report noted that one quarter of associates intend to work at their firm for just two years – or less, while 28 per cent said they would stay for three to five years.

When asked what they saw themselves doing in 10 years, 33.93 per cent of respondents stated they expect to be a partner at their current firm, while 9.71 per cent said they expect to be a partner at another firm.

Almost 20 per cent said they expect to be involved in in-house counsel in 10 years, 16 per cent said working for government or a non-profit organisation, 6.25 per cent said running their own firm or practice and 8.82 per cent said not practising law.

Not one respondent selected the option of being involved in legal academia in 10 years.

The report also revealed variables as to what would make them accept a potential employer’s job offer.

The majority of respondents cited firm culture as the most important variable, followed by work/life balance, then career prospects, compensation, practice strength, location, prestige and training on offer – in that order.

The report also heard from junior lawyers who have received salary raises, asking them whether or not their workloads have increased as a result.

Surprisingly, 33.26 per cent said they feel their firm does not require more from them after their salary raises, while 20.97 per cent cited, “Yes, somewhat”.

Of those who feel their workloads have increased, 57 per cent said they feel the increase is warranted by the raise.

“Firms don’t raise hours because of compensation, and they don’t raise compensation because of hours. They always extract as many hours and pay as little as the market will bear,” said one respondent.

“I’m personally not working harder, but I’m less likely to leave,” said another.

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