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Big Law finally has gotten the memo that keeping associates happy—at least those they want to retain—makes good business sense. For sure, long hours and demanding partners are still a major part of associate life, but firms are recognizing that paying attention to junior lawyers’ needs, whether its career development programs or more time with family, can yield benefits for everyone.

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Dear Managing Partners:

Fabulous news. You don’t have to do anything radical (or spend much money) to satisfy the troops. Based on the results of The American Lawyer’s Midlevel Associates Survey, these associates are inexplicably content. They gave their experience a 4.27 score on a 5-point scale, even though they are billing more than ever. How awesome is that?

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Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen is a senior columnist at The American Lawyer and the creator of The Careerist blog.

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