What would cause attorneys to jump ship? According to a new survey, a bigger title and more money are the chief enticements. Twenty-six percent of attorneys polled said they would leave their current positions for opportunities to advance professionally. Twenty-one percent said a pay increase would be their primary motivation.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a staffing service specializing in attorneys, paralegals and other legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 300 attorneys among the 1,000 largest law firms and corporations in the U.S. and Canada.
Lawyers were asked: For which of the following reasons would you most likely consider leaving your current position? Their responses (respondents were allowed more than one answer) were: opportunities for advancement 26 percent, salary increase 21 percent, to pursue another career 13 percent, more flexible work hours 9 percent, retirement 9 percent, to start your own practice/business 9 percent, opportunity to work in a different practice area 6 percent, no reason/would not leave 3 percent, and other 14 percent.
'Attorneys are ambitious by nature, having competed for admission to top law schools and posts with the best law firms,' said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. 'Learning doesn't stop with graduation - legal professionals need ongoing challenge and opportunities to grow.'
Mr. Volker added, 'Firms need to examine their compensation structure and address any weaknesses they find to remain competitive. Considering the high cost of replacing legal professionals, managers can be both smart and cost-effective if they proactively make adjustments rather than start from scratch following the loss of staff.'