Tag Archives: Associate Retention

Already Out Looking?

According to an Associate Life Survey by Lateral Link and Above the Law, almost half of associates who have been practicing less than one year are looking for jobs or about to start looking. Why all the looking around?

“The majority of respondents, 52%, simply want “a more satisfying practice.” 43% want a better work environment, and 26% want better hours. 31% are just curious about “what else is out there.””

The survey doesn’t define what “satisfying” means to new associates, but I think that in order to be satisfied in a job, you must be “successful” (however you define that). Finding success as a new associate is tough, but certainly proper training, interesting projects and a healthy firm culture should make a big difference. If that is so, what do these numbers tell us about associate “life” at most firms?

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Integration vs. Orientation

After reading this article from NALP, I’m intrigued by the idea of an ongoing “integration” versus a two-week orientation for new associates. The definitions for these two activities could not be more different. Orientation is merely an “introduction” to new surroundings, while integration is an act of combining into a whole (dictionary.com). I  think that firms who adopt a new associate integration policy rather than a two-week orientation, must have lower associate attrition.

A big part of this integration policy should include comprehensive legal research skills training. Contrary to common sense, this training is rarely given much time on the orientation agenda, even though new associates will spend the majority of their time researching and writing. Food for thought as we head into new associate season.

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