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More millennial lawyers going in-house

Almost 20 per cent of millennial lawyers see themselves in an in-house role in the next 10 years, primarily due to greater work/life balance and more opportunities to become business decision-makers, in comparison to private practice.

user iconEmma Musgrave 30 May 2017 Corporate Counsel
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According to a 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, 18.75 per cent said they see themselves being employed in an in-house role in 10 years.

Meanwhile, 33.93 per cent see themselves as a partner at their current firm and 9.71 per cent see themselves as a partner at another firm.

Interestingly, aspiring to government/non-profit positions is nearly as popular as in-house counsel, with 16.28 per cent saying they expect themselves to be operating in this sort of role in 10 years.


The report asked respondents how confident they are that they would achieve their goal in the next 10 years.

The majority, 44.12 per cent, said they are confident; 31.19 per cent said they are unsure; 22.02 per cent said very confident; 3.67 per cent said they are doubtful that they could achieve their goal in the next 10 years, and 1 per cent said very doubtful.

Of those who said they expect to be in an in-house role in the next 10 years, 85.71 per cent said it is because they believe there is a better work/life balance available in in-house roles. Meanwhile, 57.14 per cent said it’s the opportunity to become a business decision-maker that attracts them the most.

Other reasons for wanting to move in-house are identified as wanting an alternative to law firm practice (38.10 per cent) and greater financial opportunity (14.29 per cent).

Furthermore, the report asked respondents, including those who nominated a role in-house, how they would describe their firm’s level of transparency regarding career paths.

The majority, 52.88 per cent, said their firm projects “selective transparency”, while 16.35 per cent said their firm provides “minimal transparency. The same percentage said their firm is opaque in its transparency.

Meanwhile, just 14.42 per cent said their firm is open and clear in sharing information in regards to career paths.

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