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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of January 31, 2017

Nix the Job Hopping: Retaining Young Talent

Why are millennials more prone to job hopping than their older peers? It's a great question, and it's a question that many managing partners are asking themselves.

It's very expensive to lose a lawyer because firms must put in a lot of time and training to teach young lawyers the craft in general, teach them how to solicit new clients, and teach them how to appeal to the needs of the clients.

One thing that particularly interests young people is the ability to make a difference. I was at a meeting at which a managing partner was presiding, and a junior partner asked how he could become more influential in the firm. The response was, “Don't worry. Just keep your nose to the grindstone to build clients, and after time it will happen.” This was not a satisfactory response to the junior lawyer. It was like saying to a married person, “Stay married, and after fifty years you'll get a gold ring.” If a firm won't provide a satisfying environment for a young lawyer, that lawyer has many alternative avenues in which to go out and produce quality work, even if not at the same level of income.

To keep a young person from job hopping, firms should bring young people onto management committees with a greater voice, offer opportunities for teamwork, and ask young lawyers to help bring in new clients. In addition, firms should offer good medical care, which will be important to young people interested in raising children; educational opportunities; and time off for a work-life balance.

Of course, offering a greater percentage of profitability is enticing, too.

Finally, one firm enticed senior partners to leave the firm with a stipend averaging 50 percent of the last five years of compensation, opening up space for the younger lawyers.

The job hopping of millennials addresses the needs of these young people for a different lifestyle and work ethic. Firms simply need to be sensitive to their wants and needs in order to reduce the turnover.



Nix the Job Hopping: Retaining Young Talent

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