28 Nov How Millennials are Reshaping the Practice of Law by Margot Alicks Published by ColoradoBiz Magazine
The article, “How Millennials are Reshaping the Practice of Law,” looks at the way the Millennial generation is changing the way that law firms operate.
Margot, who co-founded BAM in 2015 with Millennial partners Heather Broxterman and Kyle McFarlane, contends that Millennial values are effecting profound changes in the traditionally hierarchical structure of law firms. And these trends are only going to accelerate as by 2019 Millennials are expected to surpass Boomers as the United States’ largest living adult generation.
Margot cites the following Millennial “wish list” as the reason for the ongoing profound changes in the legal workplace, at BAM and around the nation:
DITCH THE HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE
“I’m the shareholder. You’re a lowly associate — take orders.” Old school firms live by that mantra. We bristle at it. All team members are equally important to firm success. A hierarchy is for direction and accountability, but it’s not part of the culture. Partners issue instructions, but that role is no more important than that of the associates and paralegals receiving and carrying out those instructions with expertise.
COLLEGIALITY, COLLABORATION + INCLUSIVENESS
Everyone’s opinion matters. At BAM, we involve everyone in hiring decisions, from paralegals to partners. Associate and partner offices are often the same size, with the same view. The office is a happy, fun environment for employees and clients. We have regularly scheduled culture meetings in a casual, relaxed environment, allowing HR issues to be discussed, complaints to be aired and success stories to be celebrated. Gone is the taboo of “walking into HR,” with the rest of the team watching, worrying and gossiping.
COMPETENCE BEATS TENURE
“I have 30 years’ experience,” is not a legal argument. Persuasion in court is about talent, knowledge and effort, not years in. That’s one of the reasons at BAM all attorneys, at any given stage, bill at the same rate (e.g., law clerks at $150; associates at $215; shareholders at $295).
Millennials are comfortable with remote work. We use “flex scheduling” instead of rigidly expecting all-day face time from the team. If they need to be home for a cable appointment, we trust them to work from home for that time that day. We don’t have staff sneaking out at 5 p.m., because a shareholder is still working. We don’t have anyone leaving a decoy jacket on the back of the chair to make it seem they are there late at night.
DIVERSITY + MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS
We actively celebrate diversity on our team. We embrace sustainability. We love doing well by doing good.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
As a natural extension of our moral consciousness, Millennials are deeply committed to aligning work with values to make a difference. Many are committed to working pro bono and for aligning their values with that of their organizations. This is not a political “left/right” issue—Millennials on both sides of the aisle want to believe in what they do.
We grew up with and are comfortable with tech. From marketing to improving operational efficiency in all areas of our law practice, we embrace it. BAM attorneys type faster than long-time typists because we grew up doing it. This means we have no problem adapting as new, innovative technologies are released that allow us to maximize efficiency. We work hard but smart.
To read the article in full, please click here.
photo credit: Unsplash