Millennials are coming of age, not just as adults but also as the leaders of our workforce. In fact, millennials are currently the largest percentage of the U.S. employee pool, and that number is only expected to grow in the next decade. Yet the legal industry, which values experience and tradition, skews older. According to a 2014 article in the ABA Journal, “in 1980, 36 percent of the nation’s licensed lawyers were under age 35, compared to just 13 percent in this age group in 2005 … Meanwhile, the median lawyer age also increased from 39 in 1980 to 49 in 2005.”
This presents two problems.
First, those in charge of hiring outside counsel are progressively going to skew younger. From entrepreneurs at startups to CEOs at emerging companies, youthful leadership is going to become the norm, and that might present a generational disconnect that could create barriers for law firm business development.
Second, if law firms rely heavily on an older workforce, there might not be enough rising young talent to keep the firm operational once the elders retire. Change management, especially in an era when so many legacy lawyers are within retirement age, is crucial. Law firms that ignore the realities of an aging workforce do so to their own detriment.
How can Jaffe help your law firm overcome the generational gap?
Jaffe can work with your law firm leadership to create and execute strategic plans that address generational issues among your lawyers. Our marketing and business development consultants, who have decades of experience in the legal industry, can assist with developing incentive programs, recruitment strategies and succession plans that address the needs of attorneys throughout the generational spectrum. In addition, our creative and content teams can help you design effective communications to do better at attracting and retaining younger attorneys.