Your morale, not so much.
Roughly 43% of practicing attorneys who responded to the survey are in poor spirits:
* 24% said their morale was “bad”, up a bit from 21% in April.
* 11.5% said their morale was “awful”, which is about the same as April.
* 7.6% of respondents said their morale “couldn’t be worse.” This is actually down from 9.6% in April, suggesting that some of the most enthusiastically mopey April associates have now found unhappiness of a less extreme sort. (Either that, or they discovered that their morale really could be worse.)
Survey Results: How’s Your Morale?
Structured Finance and Real Estate attorneys are still the mopiest, with 69% and 66%, respectively, feeling “bad” or worse. This is actually a big drop for real estate associates since April, when only 56% said they were unhappy.
Interestingly, only 31% of law students said they were happy, with 50% saying their morale was “bad” or worse.
But, the glass is still almost half full. Surprisingly, morale, while not exactly great, hasn’t really fallen much since April.
* 23.7% of practicing attorneys who responded to the survey, said their morale was “good”, which is only slightly down from April’s number (25.8%).
* 13.3% said their morale was “great”, which is actually up a little from April (11.5%)
* And 3.2% of practicing respondents thought their morale “couldn’t be better,” basically the same as April.
So, overall, about 40% of respondents are still happy.
Patent associates were the happiest lot, with 58% declaring their morale to be at least “good.”
Bankruptcy associates, energy attorneys and judicial clerks were close behind at 57%, and trademark lawyers branded themselves 51% happy.
More results after the jump.
By far, the biggest factor in associate dissatisfaction is security:
* Roughly 72% of unhappy respondents attributed their comfort to job security, way up from 23.5% in April.
* Quality of life, compensation, and the quality of work were far behind at 38%, 37%, and 35%, respectively.
* Only 19% of unhappy respondents cited relationships with colleagues as a factor.
Write-in-responses showed disgruntlement among both the have’s and the have-not’s, but for markedly different reasons:
expectation of crap bonus
everything suffered b/c of low bonus
Too many hours.
too much work, but bonus uncertain
low bonuses despite a blockbuster year for the firm
working WAY too much and seemingly getting screwed on bonus
Overworked, underappreciated, lacking sleep
General economic conditions.
Economic downturn (layoffs)
Quantity of work (not enough – no way I’ll make my hours)
Everyone is stressed out over job security.
Nothing in the pipeline… really nothing (M&A)
Stealth Layoff and Defamation
prospects are bleak.
Best friend laid off
I was laid off
I was a summar associate at Thelen
trying to find a job
Got laid off and worried about finding a job.
general sense of terror
Happy respondents had a more balanced view. While job security was still the most frequently cited factor, at 59%, relationships with colleagues, quality of work, quality of life, and, of course, compensation, were relatively close behind at 56%, 55%, 54%, and 50% respectively.
Many respondents took a conservative approach to describing their happiness:
just glad to still have a job. we’ll see how long that lasts.
Am a generally happy person. Have roof over my head and food on the table.
Focusing on non-work life. There is something else out there, you know!
A few, however, were quite satisfied:
I’m clerkin’, baby!
job with new firm
accepted offer with my first choice firm
got a job with Skadden
With respect to that last quote, props are in order. Among respondents who identified Skadden or “Skadden Classic” as their employer, more than 95% said they were in at least a “good” mood.
Among the handful of firms that recently adopted a lower “market” rate for bonuses, that number dropped to just under 43%.
Half Skadden, indeed.