Job Searches, Job Survey

Associate Life Survey: Looking For A New Job?

funny-pictures-your-cat-will-sleep-for-food.jpgWe received 964 responses to our ATL / Lateral Link survey on whether you’re looking for work, and one thing is pretty clear: if you’re a 2L right now, there’s a pretty good chance that the associates you meet in your callbacks don’t actually want to be there.

A whopping 45% of respondents who had been practicing for at least a year said that they were either already looking for a new job or about to start their search.

Specifically,

  • 27% said they were looking for a new job right now,
  • 12% said they were getting their resumes ready, and
  • 6% plan to get their resumes ready just as soon as they receive their bonus checks.

But not everybody’s looking to leave right now. Another 14% of practitioners said that they weren’t planning on looking for a new job . . . because they had just started one.

Even among incoming associates, there was a surprisingly strong tendency toward jumping ship. 14% of respondents in the Class of 2008 are already looking for new jobs, and another 2% are getting their resumes ready.

And third-year law students are also looking around, as 28% of 3L’s said they were interviewing again this fall. Of these, 62% said they were no-offered, and another 5% said they received a cold offer from their summer employer.

Are You Looking For A New Job Right Now? Breakdown By Class

Class

Yes      


I’m getting my    
resume ready.    
I’ll get my resume    
ready once I    
get my bonus.    
No, I just accepted    
an offer or    
started a new job.    
Before 2000  
40%
18%
-
18%
2000
25%
-
-
25%
2001
28%
4%
4%
14%
2002
40%
9%
3%
20%
2003
36%
8%
6%
8%
2004
21%
21%
9%
10%
2005
24%
14%
8%
23%
2006
30%
9%
8%
12%
2007
24%
11%
7%
9%
2008
15%
3%
-
67%
2009
28%
2%
-
66%

Additional discussion, including a breakdown by practice area, after the jump.


Labor and employment lawyers were the most likely to be interviewing for new jobs right now, followed by patent attorneys. Structured finance associates were the most likely to be updating their resumes in the hope of swapping jobs in the near future. Securities and executive comp associates were the most likely to wait until after their bonuses.

Are You Looking For A New Job Right Now? Breakdown By Practice Area

Practice

Yes      


I’m getting my    
resume ready.    
I’ll get my resume    
ready once I    
get my bonus.    
No, I just accepted    
an offer or    
started a new job.    
Bankruptcy
15%
5%
5%
29%
Corporate
26%
13%
6%
21%
Employee Benefits & Exec. Comp
10%
-
19%
10%
Energy
7%
7%
-
27%
Investment Management
17%
9%
9%
17%
Labor & Employment
32%
13%
4%
35%
Litigation
24%
10%
6%
25%
M & A
28%
17%
3%
21%
Patent
30%
6%
6%
21%
Real Estate
19%
16%
4%
16%
Securities
24%
12%
20%
8%
Structured Finance
27%
32%
-
11%
Tax
19%
4%
-
35%
Trusts & Estates
20%
10%
10%
20%

So, why all the moving?

The majority of respondents, 52%, simply want “a more satisfying practice.” 43% want a better work environment, and 26% want better hours. 31% are just curious about “what else is out there.”

But many associates are driven by concern about their careers if they stay put: 27% said they want to find “better job security.” As one respondent put it:

We’re slow as ass and my mind is turning to mush.

For an unlucky few, jobs are turning to mush, too. 6% of associates — and 11% of structured finance associates — reported that they had already been laid off.

At the same time, though, 22% of associate respondents said they “want better pay.” So, if there’s a silver lining to these numbers, it’s that some associates still believe in gold.

Justin Bernold is a Director at Lateral Link, the sponsor of this Associate Life Survey.

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