Do Recruits Know That Your Firm “Gets It”?
“There’s no question that this generation operates differently than their predecessors, and the law firms that are best situated for future growth are the ones that are open to changing the status quo.”
This prediction comes from Ru Bhatt, managing director of Major Lindsey’s associate practice group, in his recent statement on the results of the 2019 Millennial Attorney Survey.
“Status quo” means different things to different people, so let’s spell it out: millennials believe that change is long overdue when it comes to diversity and inclusion, the gender pay gap, flexible schedules and parental leave, performance metrics and the road to partnership. That’s why so many of them (51%!) say the law firm business model is “fundamentally broken.”
This is not new information, and over the past five to ten years some firms have dedicated a good deal of time and energy to trying to understand the needs of this younger cohort and adjust business practices to meet the new reality. (Other firms are waiting for . . . an asteroid?)
We really believe that good, progressive reforms are happening out there, but as communicators we worry that law firms are missing opportunities to get the word out about how they are embracing the future of law.
How are you sharing your firm’s story with potential recruits? How could you be communicating about these issues head on? For instance, over 56 percent of millennial women strongly agreed that there is a gender pay gap, while only 18 percent of their male counterparts thought so. Whether a gender pay gap exists really is not a matter of opinion. It’s an objective fact! So something is going haywire with messaging around this issue (and by “something” we mean that firms are paying lip service to equality while privately affirming that men should continue to make more than women). Firms have an opportunity to exhibit true leadership by talking about these issues head on—and earn the respect of the younger lawyers who care about them.
And if you think you aren’t communicating anything in particular to millennials, we have news for you: your message is actually coming across loud and clear. Don’t be those guys, the guys waiting for the asteroid. Get proactive about telling the story of your firm’s transformation and vision for the future.