Gen Y, Meet Big Law

Mary Abraham, who blogs about knowledge management at law firms, writes:

I can't wait until Generation Y lawyers start flooding through the doors of big law firms. We're told that just about everything about Gen Y runs counter to the work ethic and environment of these firms. So a showdown is inevitable. It will be very interesting to see which force prevails.

I'd put my money on Big Law. All this talk about "Gen Y works to live" just doesn't reflect the weakness of any twenty-something, of any generation, in the face of six-figure paychecks right out of school. Are they all tempted? Of course not. And they're not all in the running for those big paychecks either; most people don't even come close. Still, unless there's a fundamental change in the business model of Big Law, or a big drop in the number of law school students graduating with boatloads of debt, Big Law will continue to have the leverage. (I've written more on that here and here and here.)

Of course, retaining their associates is a different matter entirely, and Big Law will continue to get clobbered on the retention front.