Staff at large law firms worried about compensation, survey says

November 21, 2013

A survey of law firm employees at the largest law firms in the U.S. reveals that staff aren’t as worried about layoffs as they are about pay and heavy workloads.

The report, “Turf Wars: Defining New Roles and Competing for New Territories,” released by AML Legal Intelligence, provides an overview of the current staffing issues affecting AMLaw 200 firms.

The top three factors working against firm morale right now are too much “deadweight” in the firm (34 percent), compensation that is too low as compared to other firms (31 percent) and too much work for the current staffing levels (31 percent).

The 2011 survey revealed layoffs, bonus cuts and low compensation as the top three factors affecting employee morale.

The report surveyed partners, associates, paralegals, support staff and law firm administrators.

Other key points from the report include:
•    62 percent of firms are likely to hire new attorneys in the coming year.
•    49 percent plan to reduce support staff in the coming year.
•    19 percent foresee legal process outsourcing growing at their firms in the next three years.
•    47 percent of firms have promoted associates to of counsel rather than to an equity partner in the past year.
•    The top three qualities these law firms look for when hiring new associates are practice expertise, Ivy League or top law school graduation, and GPA.
•    The biggest challenges when it comes to staffing are hiring and retaining key talent.

The report is available for a fee at http://almlegalintel.com/Surveys/turfwars.



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