Your ‘Entitled’ Associates Want to Work Hard. They Just Need a Good Reason

Being an associate in 2023 is something entirely different than it used to be, according to Tracy LaLonde, a professional development consultant in the legal industry. Associates starting out in their careers seek employers who give them work-life balance, allow remote work and a manageable workload. Starting salaries can sometimes be upwards of $200,000 for a first-year associate these days, but young attorneys seek meaningful work and flexibility.

Partners with a traditional mindset might find this frustrating, but law firms need to start focusing on ways to foster engagement with the new associates to succeed in having engaged, connected employees.

LaLonde shares some crucial takeaways from the disconnect partners have with the current generation of associates:

Money Isn’t the Answer

Compensation is a crucial factor in attracting and retaining associates, but these rewards are often short term or have effects that wane over time. Partners need to engage associates on their strengths to make them feel appreciated. 

‘I Suffered, So Should They’

LaLonde notes, law firm partner may have had did have it a lot harder than today’s associates in many ways, missing out on time with family and having a lot of stress in the workplace. 

The current generation of attorneys are no longer willing to accept burnout and subpar management. Instead of resisting this change and slipping into the “I suffered, so should they” mindset, partners can seize the opportunity to prioritize engagement at their firms.

Are you interested in learning on how to motivate associates in 2023? Read more in this article.

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