YOUNG MONEY - Whereas previous generations of lawyers were driven by a singular focus on the almighty dollar, millennials have realigned their priorities. Indeed, the things they value can’t be purchased with money—things like quality of life and the opportunity to do fulfilling wor… wait, what’s that? Respondents to the 2021 Millennial Survey by Major, Lindsey & Africa and Above the Law said the most important factor in evaluating a potential employer is the compensation package? Nevermind then! As’s Dylan Jackson reports, young lawyers do still care about things like work-life balance—which topped their priorities list in years past—but right now, quite simply, they’re trying to get paid. Ru Bhatt, a partner in the associate practice group at Major, Lindsey & Africa, told Smith he interprets this change as partially driven by the millennial generation aging into more senior positions, as well as an admission that a good work-life balance in large firms may never be possible. “As you know, there have been many strides in the compensation war, and associates very much value that,” Bhatt said. “I think what’s very interesting is, with the deal flow and how busy things are, associates understand the work-life balance isn’t something they may ever achieve in a service industry.”

FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH - Among several other dubious distinctions, 2020 was the year many folks who aren’t contract lawyers learned what “force majeure” means. The pandemic brought about an onslaught of contract cancellations and subsequent fighting over whether the COVID-19 outbreak constituted such an event. But as we explore in this week’s Litigation Trendspotter column, much of the litigation filed over this issue appears to be settling, as few parties have the stomach to face daunting court delays or the uncertainty of jury trials. Texas, however, endured not one but two major disruptions over the past year that sparked fierce force majeure debates: COVID-19 and Winter Storm Uri, which disabled Texas’ energy grid in February. The latter, in particular, has triggered an avalanche of contract litigation unlike any even veteran litigators in the state say they’ve ever seen. And, unlike the COVID suits, most of those winter storm cases are not likely to wrap up neatly in the near future.

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