Generally, good technology and happy associates go hand-in-hand, our midlevel associates technology survey found. The two firms with the happiest midlevels—Cozen O’Connor and O’Melveny & Myers—are also the two firms where associates are most pleased with their firm’s technology.
The survey asked associates to rate their firms on a scale of one to five in four categories: firm-provided technology, firm-provided tech training, tech support and use of technology on behalf of clients. The firms were then ranked by the sum of those scores.
Cozen O’Connor earned its highest scores for firm-provided training, at 4.813, and technology support, at 4.8. In fact, its score for tech training was higher than that of any other firm, and its firm-provided technology score, at 4.688, was the second-highest among all firms surveyed. Cozen O’Connor offers a program under which lawyers can choose the technology they want to use, which facilitates travel and remote work, says chief legal talent officer Mindy Herczfeld.
O’Melveny & Myers performed best in the technology support category, with a score of 4.735. Although it was not the top firm in any single category, it received tech survey scores above 4.6 across the board. The Los Angeles-based firm counts technology companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. among its clients.
Of the top 10 firms for technology, eight were also in the top 10 for associate satisfaction. The remaining two firms—Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in third place and White & Case at ninth—were ranked 13th and 17th respectively for associate satisfaction. Cadwalader notched the best score for tech support.
Only two firms from the top 10 for overall associate satisfaction ranked outside the top 10 in technology. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, sixth for associate satisfaction, was 20th in the technology ranking. But Goulston & Storrs, which was ranked 10th for associate happiness, placed far lower with its technology scores, at 93rd out of 102.
Overall, associates appeared to be more critical of their firms’ technology than they were of their overall working conditions. A score of less than 3 was rare for any firm in any category in the associate satisfaction survey. Just five firms got a score of less than 3 for any category, for instance, and no firm got an overall score less than 3.7. But on the technology survey, 17 firms got a score below 3 in at least one category.