Thousand-year-old lawyers! Am I right? They are really in need and lack motivation. They expect immediate gratification, immediate promotions and honors. Who do they think they are? And what will we do in the world about them?
Do you agree with your head right now? Let me guess then: you are probably a managing partner of Baby Boomer or Generation X. And all your new millennial recruits are the bane of your existence. You have no idea what to do about them, if it is organizing internal seminars in your company, where you will learn a little about this generation. During these events, everyone is frightened by the lack of ambition and enthusiasm shown by the last group of associates – and then leaves a sense of frustration, without ideas or achievable plans.
If it sounds like you or your business, then guess what? Your limited – and limiting – perspective is a contributing factor to the millennial issues that your business faces. Do not believe me? Then read "What Millennial Lawyers Want", a recently published book written by Susan Smith Blakely. She explains what motivates this generation and explains how law firm partners can change their vision and embrace the many qualities that make this generation a unique and valuable place for law firms wishing to thrive in law firms. years to come.
But before addressing some of the strategies it suggests businesses take to the best advantage of their millennial lawyers, let's learn a little bit about them.
First, there are three times more millennia than Generation X. And in just two years this generation will represent more than half of the labor force; in 10 years, their number will reach nearly 75%. In 2017, the millennial generation accounted for two-thirds of the workforce and nearly 25% of all lawyers were from this generation. And baby boomers are retiring at a rate too fast for the much smaller group of Generation Xs to fill up. In other words, in just a few years, the future of your business will be built on the shoulders of thousand-year-old lawyers. Or maybe robots. Make your choice.
So, whether you like it or not, the millennials are here to stay and if your firm is considering future growth, you'd better find a way to get along with them and make the most of them. . Good news though: this book contains many tips that will help you achieve this.
First of all, you must recognize the many positive attributes of members of this generation. As a person working for a fairly large California-based technology company (in case you want to see it, it's MyCase, an AppFolio company), I work all the time with it and I can assure you that she is smart and works hard. and pushed to succeed. But as Blakely explains, their definition of success may very well differ from that of you and your more experienced colleagues:
"(M) illeniels lawyers care less about high salaries, bonuses and extravagant social events than healthy law firm cultures and work-family balance. They understand that the prestige of law firms is often based on false indicators. They still aspire to be partners in law firms, but they want to be partners on terms that make sense. for them and in the context of their lives. "
She then suggested that law firms take steps to keep Generation Y in their business, some of which are based on information provided by Gen Y advocates. Her recommendations include:
- Develop training programs to help them understand your law firm so they can integrate more easily and quickly.
- Ask them for comments on the changes they would like to see and respond to their comments.
- Provide them with more information about the legal activity so they can better understand the firm's strategies for future success and trust them.
- Place lawyers in leadership positions that are strong leaders; Good lawyers are not necessarily good leaders.
- Do not base the associated value only on billable hours; focus instead on factors such as the quality and quantity of work, the involvement in the company, the involvement in pro bono issues, and community participation as a channel for business development.
- Create a work environment in which employees feel they are working with someone rather than for themselves and minimizing hierarchy requirements.
- Provide more meaningful opportunities earlier in their career.
- Use communication styles that are familiar and appropriate to them.
- Provide greater flexibility as to when and where they work.
- Emphasize the formation of intergenerational teams so that senior members have more opportunities to share their wisdom with junior lawyers.
- Educate all lawyers about unconscious bias.
- Kiss and enjoy their love of technology.
- Increase transparency.
These are just some usable ideas. This comes a lot more in the book. The second part of this book is also useful. It contains an assortment of stories designed to highlight the lessons that can be learned from the generation of lawyers that preceded the baby boomers.
I found this part of the book a rather unexpected departure from the first part, but the stories provide useful information and could possibly be used to encourage discussion at a workshop on the use and valorization of form – thousand-year-old lawyers.
Of course, it's not just about meeting the needs – and the whims – of millennial lawyers. To ensure the success of the millennium lawyers in law firms in the years to come, one must also look closely at the belly button, which Blakely recognizes and addresses.
Thus, for the millennial generation of lawyers who read this post, know that you are not totally disconnected. You also have work to do. In two weeks, log on to my next article, which will advise Gen Y's lawyers and help them thrive in the law firms created and managed by their predecessors. No doubt they have work to do, but you have to meet them halfway, and next week I'll tell you how.
Nicole Black is a lawyer in Rochester, New York, and the legal technology evangelist at MyCase, a web-based law practice management software. She has been blogging since 2005, writes a weekly column for the Daily Record since 2007, and is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-author of Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier and co-author of Criminal Law in New York. She is easily distracted by the potential of brilliant and brilliant technological gadgets, as well as good food and good wine. You can follow her on Twitter @nikiblack and she can be contacted at [email protected]