According to a recent American Lawyer article, associate turnover is “among the biggest post-pandemic challenges confronting law firms in 2022.” The article cites the Thomson Reuters Institute 2022 Report on the State of the Legal Market that indicates the associate attorney turnover rate for all law firms reached 23.2% through November 2021 on a rolling 12-month basis. For Am Law 100 firms, the turnover rate hit 23.7% during the same period, compared to 22.1% for the Am Law Second Hundred and 22.0% for midsize law firms. Stated more starkly, nearly 1 in 4 associates left their law firm in 2021!
Legal employers can help mitigate this risk by only working with reputable legal recruiters who have a track record for long-term placements. Employers should require that legal recruiters thoroughly interview and vet their candidates as opposed to simply flipping resumes. Similarly, when choosing a legal recruiter, attorney candidates should seek out experienced local legal recruiters who not only know the different cultures and work requirements of the various firms in the market but also understand the nuances of the local offices and the personalities of the members therein.