More than 70 percent of new partners surveyed said they were dissatisfied with some part of their partnership so far, and they were asked to pinpoint the reason.
About one-tenth of respondents—9.6 percent—pointed to gender bias, and a similar number—10.1 percent—pointed to cronyism as the reason for their dissatisfaction. Both of those numbers grew from 2017 to 2018.
While this year’s group of new partners appears to be less male-dominated than it was a few years ago, the gender breakdown has not changed much since last year. Of 425 respondents, 61.5 percent were male, 35.6 percent were female and 2.9 percent declined to identify a gender. In 2015, 68.1 percent of respondents were male and 31.9 percent were female.
Only 1.4 percent of respondents said their dissatisfaction stemmed from racial bias, and less than 1 percent said it was due to sexual orientation bias. (The survey did not inquire as to respondents’ race or sexual orientation.)
A slightly larger group, 3.1 percent, said age bias was at the root of their unhappiness.
The proportion of lawyers who are under the age of 40 appears to have remained relatively steady from 2017 to 2018. The majority of respondents, 54.3 percent, were between the ages of 31 and 38.
The largest group, however, 33.9 percent of respondents, said their lack of satisfaction was not due to a bias issue, showing an increase of 4 percent since 2015.
So, what could be causing their malaise?
Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with seven aspects of partnership. There were three areas where more than 10 percent of associates said they were “not at all satisfied”: work-life balance, compensation, and training and guidance.