Do some of you remember when during the internet boom law firms were fighting to attract and retain the most talented young lawyers? In our current economy those days seem like a distant memory. So, I begin with a question:

In 2015, do law firm leaders really care about retaining the most talented young lawyers?

I ask that question in part because one law firm leader told me that talented young lawyers graduate from law school every year. So his firm didn’t really care about retaining its associates.

I admit I was taken aback by that thinking. I maintain that motivating young lawyers in your firm is as important today as it was during those boom times. If you are a law firm leader, what do you suppose the young, talented lawyers in your firm want from you?

I have found The Leader of the Future: New Visions, Strategies and Practices for the Next Era to be helpful when it comes to leading younger lawyers. Marshall Goldsmith contributed a discussion on Leading New Age Professionals. He says those young professionals want leaders who:

  1. Business outside smiling.jpgEncourage their passion
  2. Enhance their ability
  3. Value their time
  4. Build their network
  5. Support their dreams
  6. Expand their contribution

Interestingly, I suspect if a survey was done, a very small percentage of young lawyers would say their law firm leaders help with many of the six items.

Take a second look at the list above, and then go back and read the ideas from two other books in my post What REALLY Motivates Your Associates. Aren’t all of the authors are reaching the same conclusions about what young professionals want?

If all the experts seem to agree on what young lawyers want, the question is how to give them the best opportunity to experience it. How are your law firm leaders doing it?