Paul L. Caron

Friday, October 2, 2020

Why Law Firms Seem To 'Eat Their Young' During Downturns, Why Law Firms Seem to 'Eat Their Young' During Downturns:

With associates suffering the brunt of the negative impact of the pandemic—losing work to partners, layoffs, less mentoring, slowed development—it has some industry observers wondering if law firms are sacrificing their futures for short-term gain.

Firms have said this isn’t a replay of the Great Recession. And while there haven’t been mass associate layoffs, consultants believe the outcome might be the same: a less certain future for some firms and their younger talent.

But what would drive firm leaders to make decisions they know full well could have far-reaching negative consequences down the road? Is the pull of the moment that strong? Perhaps it is, according to various legal industry experts., The Pandemic Has Put Associate Development Back on the Back Burner:

After decades of deprioritizing associate development and well-being, law firm leaders have been obsessed the past few years with figuring out how to get—and keep—young lawyers engaged. But the pressures of the pandemic are beginning to endanger any recent progress made on that front.

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Not to put too fine a point on it: associates are not owners of the organization. And, their proven skills are less than those of partners. Partners still must sign off on their work so work is duplicated or overlapped in perhaps a less efficient way. It doesn’t seem much different than other organizations where there is an entry level job with People of limited experience. Th e organization can’t always sell the product they make.

Posted by: Annie | Oct 2, 2020 12:10:23 PM

It isn't the partners, it is the clients as well. They have put caps on billings/require flat fees. Clients demand partners only are the ones who can take depositions/appear for trials/argue at motions hearings. Younger associate time gets cut all the time. Etc.

Posted by: A Nehu | Oct 2, 2020 11:57:55 AM