How To Retain Top Law Firm Talent

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The Great Resignation has been a seismic event for businesses. Across the country, millions of workers have resigned from their jobs in pursuit of better work-life balance and working conditions in which they feel more appreciated. Less reported is that the Great Resignation predates the pandemic and shows how firms have struggled to give their talent satisfying work conditions. Law firms have not been unaffected by the Great Resignation, and the question of how to retain top talent is more pertinent than ever.

In 2021, lateral hiring reached a peak of 41% of total recruitment. This shows how difficult it has been for law firms to retain their talent. Although this number is expected to come down, it is, nonetheless, a sign of how hard it is for law firms today.

Work-Life Balance Is Vital

The biggest driver of the Great Resignation is the search for better work-life balance. Today’s top talent is not satisfied with putting in long hours, regardless of the size of the pay. Many are willing to leave, not in search of a bigger paycheck but in search of a better work-life balance, even if it means a reduced salary.

Considering that corporate culture tends to fetishize talent that is all play and no work, law firms need to have a culture shift that provides tools and paths for talent to achieve a better work-life balance.

Think About Your Impact

Millennials are attracted to firms embracing sustainability and willing to accept lower pay to work there. Indeed, some experts have said that having a clean environment, society, and governance (ESG) policy is now the “baseline” for hiring top talent.

Law firms have to be open to efforts by their workers to engage in pro bono work and adopt ESG initiatives because talent today wants to leave a positive impact through their work. Offering a big paycheck is no longer a clincher.

Adopt a More Positive Corporate Culture

Workers who feel that their managers see them in terms of their financial performance are more likely to suffer from mental health issues than workers who feel seen as people.

It’s essential to embrace talent not as machines that exist to achieve a specific target billings but as people. In addition, the corporate culture must be more open and welcoming and, above all, positive.

This also includes offering talent the chance to be mentored and supported within the organization, but the firm’s most experienced lawyers. Rather than a cut-throat firm of rivals, talent wants to exist in an environment where they can grow and learn. It’s your responsibility to give them that.


In their work, has found success retaining talent by having a more enlightened view of what it means to be a law firm. Law firms need to give their talent the tools to achieve a better work-life balance and engage in more pro-ESG work. It’s essential for law firms to have a more positive corporate culture, in order to support the mental health of their talent. These simple tools can have a powerful impact on a law firm’s ability to retain top talent.

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