Last week I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel addressing the nuances of working with and recruiting millennial attorneys. The panel, “Recruiting the Millennial Candidate: Millennial-Friendly Approaches”, was part of the National Association of Legal Search Consultant’s (NALSC) annual education conference held in Ft. Lauderdale. NALSC is an organization committed to providing professional and ethical attorney placement services, and is comprised of legal search professionals from around the country. The Partners Group is honored to have been a member of the organization for over a decade.

The panel discussion emphasized the importance for legal recruiters of understanding how differently millennials learn and communicate in our multi-generational workforce. As of 2015, millennials comprise the largest age demographic in the workplace; specifically, they make up 1/3 of the overall workforce, and over 20% of lawyers in the United States (per US Bureau of Labor Statistics). Thus, learning “millennial-friendly” approaches are essential for success in our ever-changing recruiting arena. Topics covered during the talk included: Who is a Millennial?  Defining the Generation and their Unique Attributes; How Millennials Communicate Differently from Previous Generations; What Makes a Millennial Tick; and What Motivates a Millennial to Transition Jobs and How to Subsequently Get Them to Stay.

Overall, the panelists agreed that while working with millennials present unique challenges that do not arise when working with other generations, millennial attorneys bring many essential and positive traits to an organization.  These notably include an ability to be transparent in their desires, as well as a direct communication style, technological savvy, and bent toward team work, inclusivity and diversity. In fact, millennials — the most racially and ethnically varied US age group — are changing the face of the legal landscape. Millennials are global thinkers, who are better traveled and better educated than prior generations. They are truly the first generation of “digital natives” who expect equality in the work place, and demand a more balanced work lifestyle and existence. Law firms and corporate legal departments are becoming increasingly sensitive to the needs and expectations of attorney candidates who embody these characteristics.

As someone who falls within the millennial demographic (‘81 baby), I can attest to the fact that we are diverse and complex group, possessing many qualities that make us exceptional leaders and change agents in law firms, corporate legal departments, and related business spheres. While we may do, say and expect things that are different than our predecessors, we are committed to making positive contributions to the legal workforce and to working cross-generationally to strengthen our profession.

Thank you to NALSC, specifically Joe Ankus and Stephanie Ankus, for asking me to be a part of this informative (and fun) presentation. Also I want to send a special shout out to my fellow panelists Stephanie Casker, Chelsea Leon, and Marcy Cox – thank you ladies for being such amazing co-panelists!

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