March 10, 2007

say attitudinal three times fast

According to some guy on the Internet, Lawyers not only make a #$@%-ton of money, they’re making way more than they did even a year ago, to the tune of around 15k per associate lawyer for one large firm. However, I barely skimmed the article and lawyers making money wasn’t the part I found worthwhile.

What I found fascinating was the problem of partner/associate generational gap. As Mr. MacEwen relates:

From both sides, the attitude of the other is perceived to be highly unattractive:

  • Partners think (and I paraphrase, here as below): “Associates make so much ____’ing money, and they think new matters just fall out of the sky. You ask them to work over the weekend and they say they have plans. I never ‘had plans’ when I was in their position. Who do they think they are?”
  • Associates: “Partners make so much ______’ing money, and they want us to do all the work, particularly the scut-work. I never see clients, I never go to court, I never get any real experience, the work is mind-numbing, and they keep tacking on another 50 hours to their ‘expectations’ almost every year. Besides, everyone knows institutional loyalty died a long time ago; if I don’t manage my own career, and try to have some semblance of a life on the side, the firm sure isn’t going to do it for me.”

I bet several people in the tech industry were nodding along with this. A lot of companies seem to expect what MacEwen terms “institutional loyalty” without supplying the job security which made them worth being loyal to in the first place.

I’ve been lucky enough to secure a job at a company I like doing work I find interesting for good pay and decent benefits, but at the same time I know that the likelihood of being employed at any given company for more than 5-10 years in the tech industry is no better than a 50/50 proposition regardless of skill.

I’m curious what others think about this attitudinal gap. Am I way off base here?

No Comments

  1. sounds like grad school – where ridiculous expectations imposed by professors on grad students are based on a selective and romaticized memory, coupled with skewed life priorities that worship academic prowess at the expense of what is truly important: spring break.

    Comment by rachel — March 12, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

  2. We actually spent a bit of time in Organizational Psychology talking about the different forms of Organizational Committment (the psych term for “institutional loyalty”) and why American workers have had declining amounts of it. The short answer is, you’re right–the gap is widening, simply because job security doesn’t really exist in America anymore like it used to.

    Comment by Keith — March 12, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

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