X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Corporate Counsel shares a newsroom with The American Lawyer. If you walk around our floor, you notice the layouts for recent TAL (as we call it in-house) stories on the walls and boxes of the newest issues on the floor. One perennial topic TAL covers is associate satisfaction at the country’s 200 largest-grossing law firms, The Am Law 200. It won’t surprise you to hear that there’s an increasing failure to communicate: Overall, the midlevel associates in TAL’s 2005 survey say that their firms do only an average job when it comes to speaking with them about client matters, firm financials, the path to partnership, etc. Associates complain that firms don’t care about them and their future; partners ask why invest time and energy in someone who is going to leave? What does this have to do with all of you? Well, most of you worked as an associate once (yes, I know, back when BlackBerries were as commonplace as dinosaurs), so you can relate. More importantly, you’ve got the leverage to improve communication at the firms. To be sure, in-house counsel are notoriously bad at evaluating their outside counsel. According to a 2005 Altman Weil survey of the Fortune 500, only 18 percent of company lawyers have formal programs to measure their firms’ performance. But informal feedback is cheap and efficient. And it should include reminding partners about the strengths and weaknesses of the associates who work on your most important matters. Follow up in more depth about the ones who are the most promising. Is that lawyer on the partnership track? Does she know that? Has she been told what she needs to do in the next few years to better her odds? Sure, involving yourself in firm politics is messy and awkward. But it makes good business sense. Firms want to keep clients happy. Clients want productive, motivated lawyers working on their matters. Associate morale, I’m afraid, is your problem, too. One other note: In April 2005 we published our “Shortlist,” profiles of ten deputy or associate general counsel with the potential to become GC within the next five years. Well, we didn’t have to wait that long for two of the people on our list. In late 2005, Tyco’s Cornell Boggs was named to the chief legal officer job at Coors Brewing Company, and IBM promoted Donald Rosenberg to its GC spot. Congratulations. We’re very proud.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.