Baby boomers: What would your law firm associates say about your firm, if they believed no one would know they said it?

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Much has been written about the “X” generation and the “Y” generation and how their ideas and values differ from those of us who are baby boomers. I learned this the hard way when I was made the partner in charge of attorney development.

I have written an article about recruiting and motivating the “Y” generation. I decided to write it as if a managing partner was giving a presentation about the firm to a group of summer associates. The managing partner was focusing on things I have learned that are important to associates. New lawyers want to be part of a law firm that:

  • Is honest with them and does not “sugar coat” what it will be like to work at the firm after graduation;
  • Has a clear sense of purpose, vision, core values and makes clear what each lawyer can do to contribute to the firm’s success;
  • Emphasizes the importance of teamwork and recognizes the contribution of even the most junior lawyer;
  • Offers challenging assignments;
  • Focuses on training and development of its lawyers;
  • Models the behavior it expects from associates;
  • Provides mentoring and coaching;
  • Provides constant feed back rather then just one or two times a year;
  • Has the most up to date technology and uses it;
  • Appreciates diversity and embraces it;
  • Gives meaningful opportunities for pro-bono work;
  • Focuses less on hours and more on revenue or profitability; and
  • Is a fun place to work.