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October 10, 2006

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Andrew Flusche

This is a really insightful post. In my limited experience as a summer associate in two large law firms, I found that the associates were definitely more willing to participate in recruiting efforts (which are marketing, in a way). Many partners become so busy with other aspects of the firms and their families, and they become burnt out with such activities.

Melinda Guillemette

Michelle, I loved your latest blog post on the generation gap. I’ve been thinking and reading about this issue quite a bit lately. I agree heartily with your assessment that the x-ers and millenials are NOT lazy, unmotivated, etc. They simply want to enjoy life more than they perceive their parents did. They are admittedly self-interested, and I think that’s a good thing. All humans are self-interested, but most of us have trouble admitting it. Boomers particularly must feel committed to a cause (a firm?), a group, an issue, or they don’t feel fulfilled. Younger folks absolutely see it differently. They want to be valued and respected (verbally and monetarily) for what they do, and they want everything more quickly than their parents got it. In other words, when it comes to business development, they are quite willing to do it, I have found, but they want to be rewarded for it and they want to see results from it in something less than 30 years. They also don’t want to be penalized for it – getting dinged by their group leaders, for example, when they’ve been marketing their behinds off but missed their hourly production goal by some small number. That happens every day in firms across the country, as you know. And the younger generation doesn’t like it. Of that I am certain, and I don’t blame them. They’re clearly not interested in the “join our family here at XYZ firm”, only to take their lumps for a couple of decades while they climb the ladder, hoping that someday, they, too, will reach the top of the mountain. I think they know there’s no top. The mountain just keeps getting higher.

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