If you’re one of the 62% of lawyers who has moved, or is considering a move to a new firm, within the first four years of practice, we know that choosing which organization to join is a big one, especially when there are multiple offers on the table.
Clearly not all law firms are the same. Yes, they all have salaries, practice areas, and locations – but each firm is different in meaningful ways.
Law Firm Culture
Culture is one factor that will determine your success in a new law firm. The most basic analogy for a firm’s culture is personality. Either you jive with it, or you don’t. Generally a healthy culture focuses employees toward a shared vision or common goals. It grows and evolves organically for the collective personalities of its attorneys.
Law firm culture influences:
- How tasks are managed.
- How long attorneys are expected to work.
- How much autonomy a young associate has.
- What type of behavior will or will not be tolerated.
Simply put: If your personality fits well within a firm’s culture – you will likely have a long rewarding career there. People whose personalities clash with the firm will likely be shown the door.
A law firm’s prestige is a factor that is particularly important for a new lawyer. Working at a prestigious firm early in your career may open doors for you down the road. Prospective employers will also see it as important, on top of your training and experience.
It Boils Down to YOU
Meaningful exchange is important! If possible, prospects may be able to acquaint themselves with law firms over a period of several months, gaining exposure to the atmosphere in a firm’s offices and the personalities that make up its associates. In the end, the best person to choose the right firm for you is you. And the best way to start looking for the right law firm is to go out and meet them.