Age diversity has positive impact
Having a range of generations of lawyers working under the same roof is beneficial for both the firm and the clients, according to a boutique firm director.
Speaking with Lawyers Weekly, Mullane & Lindsay Solicitors director Tony Cavanagh said employee diversity of any kind is beneficial, including when it comes to age.
“Many law firms and professional services firms tend to be a little bit monocultural, and that makes them fairly vanilla in terms of what they can offer in terms of solutions to different people’s problems,” Mr Cavanagh said.
“It’s almost self-evident that any law firm, indeed any professional practice, would have some benefit from having a diversity of input, whether that be skill-based or age-based or anything else.”
Mullane & Lindsay has lawyers in their 20s, 60s, and almost every generation in between, each bringing different areas of knowledge and skills to the firm, according to Mr Cavanagh.
“The first obvious benefit is you simply get a broader range of life experience and different ways of approaching problems,” he said.
“For example, as a sweeping generalisation, those who are relatively young are more familiar with things like social media than older people are.”
The benefits are also evident in trying to connect with a wider range of clients.
“When you have a range of personnel that work with you, you've got a better chance of relating with a broader range of actual or prospective clients, so it broadens and deepens relationships with your client base,” he said.
A final benefit Mr Cavanagh pointed to is in succession planning.
“If you get and train the right people, that's obviously important in terms of business succession because if you want the business to continue to be successful as those of us that are a bit long in the tooth drop off the conveyor belt, you've either got to bring people through or you've got to be looking at developing it for sale,” he said.
“The reality is that is that it's more difficult to find external buyers for firms than it is to bring people through, so it’s important from that perspective as well.”