What Do Lawyers Really Want?

An exclusive MRA Search report exploring the motivations and aspirations of Generation Y lawyers

August 2021

To receive a copy of our full report, including all the stats, please click here.

Executive summary

The last year has certainly forced lawyers of all generations to reassess their feelings towards the profession and their employer. But what remains important for businesses is to understand the motivations of their employees, and those they are looking to recruit to their ranks. As the percentage of Generation Y (Millennials) in the workforce continues to rise (expected to be 75% of the workforce by 2025), it is particularly important for businesses to focus on this cohort.

MRA Search conducted a survey of this generation, with one of the driving forces being to find out if the stereotypes sometimes associated with the millennial generation translate to the legal sector. Do these lawyers have the same general motivations when choosing a new role, and do they want the same things out of their careers as their contemporaries in other professions?

The survey results can be broken down and analysed into three categories; the hopes and dreams of the generation, the push and pull factors around making career moves; and the experience of the pandemic.

Hopes & dreams

This is a generation of individuals very focussed on their goals. When asked what their expectations were of the profession, and what their personal and professional goals are in the longer term, it is clear that while reward is important, for this generation there are a lot of other factors in the mix.

Push & pull factors

Some very clear themes came out of the survey around what influences lawyers to stay in their jobs and what they want from any new role. What is very obvious from the responses is “culture is king”. This heavily outweighs reward when asked about the top three best things about their current role.

The pandemic

The pandemic has changed many of the working practices for businesses around the world. The survey asked what lawyers thought about these changes and how their company had handled the crisis. The responses were overwhelmingly positive. Many feel the situation has given their business the opportunity to really deliver on the values they claim to have. Even though many businesses (73%) had some way to go to make the move to full remote working, 60% of respondents said they felt supported during this time. This is certainly not something to be taken lightly, and for many businesses this would not have been easy to achieve.

There is a positivity that has come out of the survey which is perhaps surprising. In the eyes of some, millennials have a bad reputation as being likely to complain and question traditional working patterns and business culture. However, these results suggest that lawyers of this generation are positive about their profession, their employers and their experience of the pandemic.

To receive a copy of our full report, including all the stats, please click here.