One in a Million? The Millennial takeover

One in a Million? The Millennial takeover

If you’ve ever looked for “Millennials are…” in a search engine, you’ll know a few things; Millennials are “screwed”, “anxious” and are “killing industries” in their droves. Reliably castigated as: emotional and unreliable, millennials are the generation everybody loves to hate. While it’s easy to write off a whole generation as a problem to be solved, Millennials are redefining the legal industry; pressing for technological and culture change, Millennials are challenging law firms to reassess their business practices to keep pace with the changing world around them.

Millennials now form the backbone of staff and client bases and making up 35% of our current workforce. Although Millennials aren’t yet the majority, it’s only a matter of time before the tables turn- and by 2020 they will make up 50% of the workforce. As law firms continue to acquire talented young people, established professionals should embrace the influence of Millennials to avoid playing a tug of war with their lawyers and risk being left behind…

As this generation grows older and progresses in their careers, increasingly Millennials are asserting power over management decisions, and taking initiative on large projects to reform the practices of their organisation. Unlike their baby-boomer colleagues, Millennials aren’t as wedded to industry traditions, and place little value in practices that take place because they always have. Outmoded processes and anachronistic hierarchies receiving the chop early in legal start-ups, favouring lateral knowledge sharing solutions and efficiency saving tech. The partnership model is one landmark example: “millennials want what they want and they want it now. The patience factor is not one of their fortes — they're not going to stand around for 12 years,” says a co-founder of Legal A-Team. As a result, law firms will have to significantly adapt their culture to retain millennial talent without losing the most able lawyers to agile start-ups. With such a substantial practice as the partnership model under scrutiny, it’s plain than Millennials are pushing law firms to think more creatively, enlivening and steering high-level discussions about how law firms stay relevant in the greater economy.

Talent acquisition is where Millennials prove most vital to law firms, and are providing guidance and practical solutions that will empower law firms in their battle for top talent. With the rising tech sector and legal industry disrupters it’s becoming increasingly challenging for traditional law firms to assert uniqueness and a competitive edge. Harnessing the value set of millennials is a vital component when it comes to attracting talent as

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About the author:
Catherine is one of the Future of Law's digital editors. She graduated from Durham University with a degree in English Literature and worked at a barristers chambers before joining Lexis Nexis.