The ABA Journal reported in Why Associates Leave is Clear, But What Would Lure Them to Stay? that up to 80 percent of BIGLAW associates leave within the first five years of employment.
A reader identified only as “Chicago 2L” responded:
I’ll tell you why these firms are having the problems they are having:
They hire only the privileged top graduates of elite law schools. Many of these people have never worked a day in their lives, and although a starting salary of 160,000 dollars sounds mighty fine to them, the reality of the hard work soon puts them off. They pay off their loans and move on to a lighter workload….
How to remedy this (in my opinion): Instead of hiring solely the top academic performers from Top 14 Law Schools, look a little lower down the tiers and look longer at previous work experience or other outside influencing factors. A student who may have been only top 25% academically but graduated from a four-year part time program while holding down a full-time job and possibly maintaining a family will not only fully understand the value of a hard day’s work (and that 160k starting salary) but might also have useful information and abilities gained from previous experiences in the work force.
An interesting take. My law school experience, post law school educational experience, and law teaching experience supports this theory.