« on: March 24, 2011, 07:11:48 AM »
BUT, this is the absolute best case scenario in which you land a very high paying job at a top law firm with substantial salary increases and a growing economy that permits the assumption of a consistent bonus ... and of course that you remain at your job for 3 years (not burning out).
By SAIRA RAO
December 31, 2006 -- The city largest, most prestigious law firms are suffering from serious brain drain. Young, Gen-X lawyers in their third to fifth year in the business are walking away from their $200,000-a-year positions in record numbers -- at times without another job in view. The reason? They are unhappy with their Blackberry lifestyle -- being tethered to the job 24/7 and having to rush back to the office at a moment notice when e-mail orders pop up on the ubiquitous PDA. The exodus of law firm associates is unprecedented, according to NALP which found that 37% of associates leave large firms within the first 3 years. A whopping 77% of associates leave within 5 years, according to NALP latest survey. That is up sharply from recent years, and the resulting brain drain is wrecking havoc on law firms.
There is a significant drain on your potential as a firm if you cannot mitigate it, says Mike, a partner at a 400-plus lawyer Big Apple firm, said of the young legal eagle exodus. Mike, like many lawyers interviewed for this story, spoke only if neither they or their firm were identified, fearing client losses. While increased attrition is a typical effect of a relatively healthy economy, Mike claimed, It would be a mistake to say it is all driven by the economics. The big-firm brain drain is also giving partners a major case of agita -- forcing them to do the yeoman grunt work usually assigned to associates. In addition, the firms are being forced to scramble to fill the mid-level talent void. Some are even doing the previously unheard of -- hiring from second-tier law schools.
John, a fifth year associate at a prominent Wall Street firm, is, like many young lawyers, walking out the door. He is leaving for a coveted in-house position at an investment bank. \'I am just waiting for my bonus,\' the 31-year-old says. In fact, the next major wave of legal brain drain will occur over the next few weeks as young lawyers jump ship after collecting their bonus checks. \'It is the mid-levels, the 3rd through 5th years that are leaving, so you are losing people you have spent lots of money on training, and just as they start to run things, they leave, and firms become less profitable, Mike, the partner, adds. John, the associate ready to leave, notices the effect of the mid-level brain drain at his own firm. Gone, he said, is the traditional pyramid of power, from the numerous first-year associates up to select first-year partners.
It is gone from a pyramid to a strange hourglass shape, John says. It is bizarre. Now you will see deal teams with a partner and a first-year associate, with nobody in the middle. You should see the partners. They are doing the work of mid-levels to pick up the slack. And even though they make over $1 million, they never see their family. There is little reward in that for me. Tagg Grant, 31, could not agree more. The self-described \'recovering lawyer\' removed himself from firm life last year, as a third-year corporate associate. I did not want to sleep on my office floor anymore or wonder if I had a change of underwear somewhere in my file cabinet, he says.
LOLS the story SURE has CHANGED...draaaastically...si nce THAT article was written huh? What a difference a couple years makes!