Work and Life: A Multi-Generational Perspective

“So, where do you come down on this issue? Do you favor work-life blend, work-life balance, or another formulation?”

I recently posed this question to a panel of three attorneys (one Millennial, one Gen Xer, and one Boomer). Each panelist offered a thoughtful, insightful, and elucidating answer. But before we jump to their responses, let’s first preface this question by focusing on the integration of work and life.

Work-life balance became the rallying cry of Gen X professionals who sought to bring “balance” into the law practice (among many other professions). Proponents of work-life balance believed the pendulum had swung too far away from “life,” and the solution was improved balance.

However, despite two decades of well-intentioned “balance” initiatives at law firms, lawyers are not measurably happier with their work — and this is especially true of Millennials. According to a 2019 study co-sponsored by Above The Law, half of all young attorneys believe the law firm business model is “fundamentally broken.” So why haven’t we seen a measurable improvement in lawyer satisfaction accompanying work-life balance initiatives?

The answer, in part, is that Millennials are not interested in balancing their work against their lives. Rather, to a young professional, work should be an interesting and enhancing aspect of life. When the once-separate spheres of “work” and “life” begin to blend and intersect, many Millennial associates feel more comfortable and ready to contribute to their law firms. In a sense, when we try to balance work against life, we unintentionally tend to short-change both.

So, returning to my question to the panelists: “Where do you come down on this issue? Do you favor work-life blend, work-life balance, or another formulation?” The panelists’ answers, as paraphrased below, provide the basis for an important inter-generational understanding.

  • The Boomer attorney explained that, when she began practicing law several decades ago, no one in her office shared the details of their personal lives outside of work — and certainly no one discussed the concepts of balance or blend. To succeed in the workplace as a young lawyer, she believed it was necessary to maintain barriers between work and life. Simply put, she never had the opportunity to contemplate “balancing” or “blending” work and life when she began her career.

  • The Gen X attorney said she felt comfortable with balancing work and life — and would be uncomfortable blending her work and life together. For her, balance is achievable and works well. She likes being 100% focused on work at work and then being 100% focused on her life outside of work.

  • The Millennial attorney embraced work-life blend, explaining that she is a lawyer 24-7 365 days per year, and she’s herself 24-7 365 days per year. She appreciates the flexibility of working from her office on occasion and feels most comfortable and productive in a blended environment.

In this discussion, the panelists (and this moderator and the audience too!) reached an important understanding: members of different generations may feel more comfortable in different work environments and mindsets — and that’s OK!

If we are to work harmoniously with each other, we must first understand and accept each other. The solution is not to force a Boomer to implement work-life blend in his or her practice, nor is it to force a productive Millennial associate to ditch his or her blended practice.

Rather, by accepting each other’s generational perspectives, we create a culture whereby each attorney can access his or her most productive self. For many Millennials, that may mean treating the law firm as a work center and a social center with opportunities to work in communal settings.

The goal is not to make Millennials more like Boomers or Gen Xers (or vice versa). Instead, the goal is to create a law firm culture that grants its lawyers the flexibility to manage their work and personal lives in a productive manner. As the multi-generational panelists proved, lawyers can be highly productive while reaching differing conclusions on how to integrate work and life.

Upcoming Events in April 2019!

As law firms ponder the future, a simple truth is evident: our profession is changing in profound ways. Although change can be challenging, it also represents an opportunity for growth.

Over the course of the next month, I will have the privilege of speaking with inspiring leaders throughout the legal community. From ABA conferences to the National Association of Women Lawyers, thought leaders are focused on forging a productive and sustainable path forward for our profession.

I am grateful to be part of this broader discussion with my focus on the youngest generation of lawyers. Here are a few upcoming highlights on my calendar. Hope to see you at one of these events!

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Leveraging Inter-Generational Strengths for International Legal Practice Excellence, a Panel Discussion, 2019 Annual Conference of the ABA Section of International Law (April 12, 2019)

In today's law firms, there may be up to four generations of legal professionals practicing together: Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and recently, Generation Z (also known as iGen). The starkly varied work style preferences among different age groups may at times seem to create a gap that is difficult or impossible to bridge. But diversity of perspective also creates opportunities. This panel will examine the common points of friction that can arise between employees of different vintages, with a particular focus on how age-based dynamics can manifest in a legal workplace. Panelists will also explore strategies for legal office managers to leverage each generation's strengths, compensate for weaknesses, and to enhance efficiency, communication and cooperation among lawyers of different age groups, with a view to providing the most effective possible legal services.

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Optimizing the Multi-Generational Law Firm: A Guide to Motivating and Retaining Millennial Attorneys, an ABA Webinar, hosted by JP Box (April 25, 2019).

JP Box, author of The Millennial Lawyer: How Your Firm Can Motivate and Retain Young Associates, will explore how lawyers can communicate professionally across generations allowing everyone (from Boomer and Gen X partners to Millennial associates) to work together efficiently and harmoniously. 

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Intergenerational Engagement and Effective Communication, a Panel Discussion moderated by JP Box, at the National Association of Women Lawyers, Denver Conference (April 30, 2019).

A panel of attorneys will discuss effective communication skills across generations, including how to advance and promote women colleagues from within. 


The Modern Lawyer Podcast: A Candid Discussion on Millennials in the Law

As a guest on The Modern Lawyer Podcast hosted by Anand Upadhye, I provide insights into what motivates and inspires the Millennial generation of attorneys. In a wide-ranging discussion, I address what to do, and what not to do, when it comes to getting the best out of Millennials in the law. Anand’s insightful questions and observations paved the way for a really great conversation.

Hope you enjoy the listen!

(Available to download on iTunes or click here to stream through SoundCloud).

Author Interview on the Get Published Podcast

I recently appeared as a guest on Paul Brodie’s Get Published Podcast. Paul is a champion for aspiring authors, and so our discussion focused on the writing process and concrete advice for fellow writers. In addition, we also touched upon my journey as a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and consultant.

Clocking in at 17 minutes, the podcast provides a peek into the behind-the-scenes writing of The Millennial Lawyer: How Your Firm Can Motivate and Retain Young Associates (ABA 2018). We cover topics from how I write (my advice: don’t short-change the pre-writing process!) to working with the talented editors of my book (many thanks to you all!).

Apart from the mechanics of writing, I also discussed my mindset as an entrepreneur. During my transition from practicing attorney to business owner and consultant, I came to this critical realization:

“I could once again become the creator, become the author, of my own life. . . . . We don’t have to be the passive observers of our lives. We can start creating something that is meaningful, something that inspires us.”

When I talk about my path as a Millennial lawyer to audiences, I stress that my experiences as the classic successful-yet-unfulfilled young associate are part of a shared arc of experiences of Millennials in the law and other professions. Importantly, my drive to find meaning and inspiration in my own life is shared by many young professionals.

While my path led me away from practicing law, I fully believe that law firms can create cultures that fulfill this ambition for Millennial associates. A productive path forward exists for law firms and their young associates, and that is why I am committed to helping law firms bridge the generational divide.

Hope you enjoy the podcast! Feel free to listen here or download on iTunes.

Insightful Questions: Asked & Answered

Over the past several months, I’ve presented The Millennial Lawyer: A Guide to Motivating and Retaining Young Associates to lawyers and HR professionals hailing from the UK to Canada to New York to Colorado to California.

At each presentation, I offer my vision for a productive path forward with the youngest generation of attorneys. Relying upon consulting studies, social sciences, and my experiences practicing law, I highlight how commonly held Millennial values can be integrated into law firm culture in a way that respects the business and practice of law.

Whether I am speaking with partners at a law firm, members of a bar association section, or a trade group, I encourage the audience to be active participants in the discussion. Simply put, I want to hear the audience’s unique challenges and, in turn, offer specific solutions to bring generational harmony to law firms.

Today, I am sharing some of the most insightful and thought-provoking questions from attendees at my presentations over the past few months.

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Question: Why should I have to change my motivation? I wake up every morning and work hard because I’m paying tuition for two kids in college and because I’m trying to save for retirement someday.

Answer & Discussion — This question came from a law firm partner after I had just covered two key elements of the Millennial mindset: the preference for great experiences over high pay and the belief in doing well by doing good.

Our discussion focused on how to motivate a young associate to deliver his or her best work product. Millennials want their chosen profession to be the vehicle through which they make the world a better place. Accordingly, I encouraged the partners in attendance to focus on the noble practice of law to inspire their associates’ best work (instead of trying to motivate a young lawyer through the business side of law).

In response to the partner’s question — “why should I have to change my motivation?” — my answer was simple: you do not need to change your motivation. From all appearances, this partner’s motivation served him well. He ascended the ranks from associate to senior partner with an impressive list of clients and firm leadership responsibilities.

However, what motivated that individual partner as a young lawyer is not always the same as what motivates today’s associates. By understanding the Millennial mindset, firm partners can begin to unlock the talents of the youngest generation of attorneys.

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Question: When it comes to Millennials, I’m having a really hard time. I hire them to do a specific job, and they accept the responsibility of that job by taking the paycheck. Why isn’t that enough?

Answer & Discussion — This question highlights common concerns about Millennial employees: their work ethic and their commitment. At the outset, let me stress that Millennials are willing to work extremely hard and demonstrate an impressive commitment to their employers.

However, if firms believe that a paycheck alone will create an environment where young associates produce inspired results, then they will likely be disappointed. The average tenure of a Millennial in a new job is less than three years. Not shy about voting with their feet, a Millennial does not feel beholden to an employer simply by virtue of receiving a paycheck.

The good news, however, is that law firms can inspire Millennials to work hard and remain committed to their employers. A great place to start is by answering the question why. Many law firms are great at explaining what an associate’s job entails and how to do it. Too few law firms, unfortunately, explain why an associate’s specific task matters.

And, as an added bonus, if you explain why a particular bit of legal research is important within the context of a broader case, then your associate will likely answer that question better anyways!

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Question: Why don’t more young associates jump at the chance to do pro bono work or contribute to a bar association section?

Answer & Discussion — I have heard variations of this question from law firm partners and even a judge. The premise is: if young associates are so altruistic, then why do we still have shortages of lawyers willing to take on pro bono work and contribute to their bar associations?

My answer is twofold. First, Millennials believe in work-life blend in which work is an enhancing and enriching aspect of life (not a weight to be balanced against life). Millennials are not comfortable segmenting their life into separate spheres of interest that never intersect. Simply put, a typical Millennial does not want to view his or her multiple obligations — such as day-to-day client work, pro bono work, bar association work, and so on — as separate endeavors.

Rather, a Millennial feels most comfortable and inspired when work and life coexist on a continuous spectrum. So, if your firm believes in the value of serving on bar association boards, for example, then make that service an explicit part of your law firm’s culture. And, if your firm believes in pro bono, then do not make the mistake of suggesting that pro bono work is to be done during nights and weekends. Rather, pro bono work should be embraced every bit as much as paid client work during the regular working hours.

My second response to this question is: mentorship! As a group, Millennials want autonomy but not independence. From early childhood, Millennials have been coached, graded, and assessed, and they expect a benevolent mentor to help guide them in the workplace too. So, if a young associate is interested in a particular area of law, a great mentor could do wonders by guiding that person to the section of the bar association focused on that area of law.

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Question: Will our associates actually work hard if they’re not in their individual offices?

Answer & Discussion — While the hopes of a corner office sustained the dreams of Gen X and Boomer attorneys, Millennials largely dream of a communal work area. Whether it’s in a converted law library (a “lounge-brary” as they are sometimes called), a comfortable conference room, or a cafe, Millennials want a collaborative and vibrant workspace.

Perhaps the best answer to the above question — “will our associates actually work hard if they’re not in their individual offices?” — came from a chief human resources officer at a top BigLaw firm. One of his offices recently renovated their space to include expanded kitchens on each floor, complete with couches, tables, and flat screen televisions.

Partners at the firm worried that the expanded kitchens were too inviting and that they would take away from productive working hours. However, just the opposite happened. Associates loved working in those expanded lounges. During most nights, groups of associates could be found — laptops open, a baseball game on mute, pizza ordered — working together. Productivity actually increased!

Rest assured, your firm does not need to renovate its office space to achieve this result. However, you must create a space (even a converted law library or conference room) and permission structure for associates to work together and access their most productive selves.

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Do you have more questions? I’d love to hear from you!

Taking Loneliness Out of the Legal Profession

When you were in law school, did you think you would be joining a lonely profession? Of course not!

However, according to a new study from UCLA, the practice of law is now the loneliest profession in the country.

In fact, 6 of 10 lawyers ranked above-average on the UCLA researchers’ loneliness scale. Lawyers outpaced other professions in their affirmative responses to statements such as: “I have nobody to talk to, “I feel left out,” “No one really knows we well,” and “I feel isolated from others.” It is striking that, for a profession focused on partnership, we rank at the top of the loneliness spectrum.

This study is especially troubling news for law firms wishing to connect with the youngest generation of attorneys. Millennials overwhelmingly rank the social aspects of work—that is, the relationships built with colleagues—as one of the most important aspects of their profession. If Millennials feel “lonely” at the workplace, their motivation wanes along with their commitment to the firm.

The good news, however, is that law firms can reverse this trend by emphasizing the relationship aspect of practicing law. Forward-thinking law firms across the country are deploying strategies to tap into the collaborative working styles of Millennials (and fighting the scourge of loneliness in our profession), by:

  • Creating “lounge-brariers,” or hybrid lounge-libraries, where associates can work and socialize together.
  • Promoting “neighborhoods” within firms where members of a practice group can gather and get to know each other.
  • Keeping individual office doors open to allow for the free exchange of ideas and to foster a sense of openness throughout the firm.
  • Championing teamwork over individual performance by recognizing the critical roles played by partners, associates, paralegals, and administrative staff alike.

Our profession does not have to be a lonely one. To the contrary, we can work together to promote a lively and vibrant law firm culture marked by a sense of belonging and togetherness. Eradicating high levels of loneliness from our profession is not just common sense; it's also good business for law firms seeking an inspired and committed group of Millennial attorneys.

Why Your Firm Shouldn't Strive for Work-Life Balance

Is your firm focused on work-life balance?  If so, you’re not alone.  A google search of “work-life balance” turns up nearly 100 million hits.  Clearly, people are mighty interested in balancing “life” with “work.”

But it’s the wrong mindset, especially if you’re looking to hire and retain the best millennial associates.  Your firm’s pursuit for “work-life balance” actually risks alienating those young attorneys. 

Simply put, millennial associates do not wish to balance real life with work life.  To them, life does not stop at work.  It’s not about balancing a professional career against life’s other dreams and ambitions.  

It’s about blending everything together — career, friends, family, travel, leisure, and all the rest.  It’s about work-life blend.

To understand why millennials opt for blend over balance, consider this seemingly innocuous statement capturing the paradox of work-life balance: “[Millennials] want to be great professionals, but they want to have a life.” - Lacy Durham, Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, quoted in Alex Wolf, 4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Big Law, Law 360 (Sept. 17, 2015) (emphasis added).

At first blush, there is nothing exceptional about Durham’s statement, but then you see that “but.”  Being a great professional is somehow at odds with living a great life.  It’s as if “work” and “life” are perpetually at opposite ends of a delicate fulcrum.

As lawyers, we’re language sleuths.  So, let’s make a simple but profound change to Durham’s statement: “Millennials want to be great professionals, and they want to have a life.”  Now that’s work-life blend.  Work and life are not diametrically opposed concepts.  Life does not stop where work begins.  Life and work happen together.

When the lines between work and life blur, a millennial feels most at home, most inspired, and most ready to make meaningful contributions. As the D.C. Bar's Washington Lawyer magazine astutely noted, "Thanks to millennials, the notion that an office can be both a workplace and a social center is becoming de reigueur, even in law firms." Sarah Kellogg, Law Office Design: Envisioning a New Archetype, Washington Lawyer (June 2016).

But what does work-life blend look like? It starts with a mindset change — training ourselves to stop viewing “work” and “life” as weights to be balanced against each other.

Work-life blend is about the freedom to bring life into work.

It’s about the freedom to work outside the four walls of an office when efficiency and effectiveness demand it.

It’s about the freedom that comes with young associates collaborating with each other, paralegals, secretaries, and, yes, partners.

It’s the freedom to work in a professional yet collegial atmosphere where doors are open, people are trusted, and creativity is appreciated.

It’s about the recognition that a professional’s career can and should enhance lives.

It’s about realizing that, when you trust your millennial associates to work in a blended environment, you and your firm will get their very best effort. 

The Importance of Flexible Working Hours, or How to Make a Millennial Associate Work On a Weekend and Not Resent You

A few weeks ago, I joined a partner at one of my old law firms for breakfast. As we chatted, he shared the following story with me. 

At a partner’s retreat, his firm brought in a millennial consultant for a presentation. (No, that consultant was not me). During the presentation, the consultant presented the following scenario: 

You have an important client who calls you on Friday afternoon with a project that needs to be completed by Monday morning. You’ll need help from your trusty associate but you know that your associate already has weekend plans. What do you do?

The consultant looked to the audience of partners for an answer, and her eyes settled upon the partner at my old firm: “What would you do?”  Her question sparked this interaction:

Partner: “I’ve never asked anyone to work a weekend unless I was working right alongside them.  So, I’d tell the associate that we had to work together on the client’s project over the weekend.”

Consultant: “No! You can’t do that!”

Partner:“But who’s going to do the work?” 

Consultant: “You’ll have to tell the client that the project can’t be completed by Monday morning.”

Partner: “You tell the client that!”

The partner’s quick response brought laughter to the room, but the interaction didn’t solve a critical question: what do you do when a client needs assistance outside of regular business hours?

After all, clients may have true emergencies that pop up at night or during weekends, and they look to their lawyer as a counselor in every sense of the word. A good lawyer can’t say, “I know you need me right now, but just sit tight for 48 hours and I’ll get back to you.”

So again, the critical question is: how do you make your millennial associates happy while still being able to respond to client demands outside of regular business hours?

The answer is allowing your associates to work more flexible hours in the first place. After all, if you hold the regular business hours to be sacred, then your associate will hold non-business hours to be equally sacred.

In other words, if your associate can’t step away from the office for a child’s soccer game on a Friday at 3pm, then you can’t ask that associate to step into the office on a Saturday morning at 9am. However, if you allow your associates to work flexible hours and trust them to organize their time efficiently, you earn the right to ask them to work irregular hours when the need arises.

Now, let’s get back to the consultant’s key question to the partner at my old firm: what should you do? It’s a difficult question, but only if you haven’t already institutionalized flexible working hours at your law firm.

If you’ve already created an environment where work and life can happen during business hours, then you have the right to ask your millennial associate to give up a night or a weekend here or there for the good of a client too. And they probably won't hold it against you!

Want to Motivate Your Associates? Money Isn't the Answer.

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”

Know who said that? No, it’s not a millennial. It’s a guy who lived over 150 years ago: the quintessentially American author and philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. Not every millennial value is new. Some are old ideas that have been reinvigorated in today’s workplace.

Like Thoreau, millennials are focused more on the experience and less on the paycheck. In fact, 3 out of 4 millennials say that how they spend their time is more important than how much money they make. See Neil Howe, Millennials in the Workplace, at 188 (2010) (citing a Harris Interactive Poll). Simply put, millennials are less willing to defer life's big dreams for a big paycheck.

Furthermore, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center analysis, only 15% of millennials believe that having a high-paying career is one of the most important things in their lives. They ranked being a good parent, having a successful marriage, and helping others in need as significantly higher on their scale of importance.

That’s not to say that Boomers or X’ers don’t also value being great parents, spouses, and citizens. They unquestionably do. The critical difference is that Boomers and X'ers view high-paying careers as the means to achieve those very important values.

From a Boomer’s perspective, millennials are putting the cart before the horse. Be that as it may, this is actually good news for law firms. Motivating millennials is not a money problem.

Law firms must improve the associate experience, not increase the paycheck. Consider my own experience: in my first year as an associate, I made $60,000 more than in my sixth year as an associate. I migrated from a large firm to a small firm, looking for a better fit at the expense of a bigger paycheck.

My decision isn't that remarkable, especially considering the fact that a majority of college students would gladly accept a 15% pay cut from a future employer in order "to work for an organization with values like my own." Cliff Zukin and Mark Szeltner, Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012, Filene Research Institute (2012).

Therefore, it's critical for law firms to create an office atmosphere receptive to the shared values of a millennial generation with 50 million-plus people in the US workforce. By focusing on the experience instead of the paycheck, law firms can unlock this generation's talents.

So, what are some steps a law firm can take to improve the associate experience, thus boosting associate productivity and helping a law firm's bottomline? Here are a few that will generate big results without costing big bucks:

  • Promote your firm as a place where associates can work hard and socialize (that is, a place where work-life blend happens). Millennials work best in teams, not grinding away by themselves. So, keep your office doors open, create space for associates to talk about their cases and their personal lives, and strive for a professional yet collegial atmosphere.
  • Give your associates a voice. Millennials want to be heard now (not just when they become partners), and they want to work closely with you. Take advantage of their youthful eagerness and confidence!
  • Give them a purpose. 92% of millennials believe that businesses should be measured by more than just profits and should focus on societal purposes (Deloitte & Touche survey). Too often, lawyers get lost in the daily grind of billable hours, client demands, and looming deadlines. It’s critical to remind yourselves and each other about law’s inherent nobility — its transformative societal effects and its position as a centerpiece of any civilized society.

Together, these three measures create: an improved office atmosphere, a voice at the firm, and a purpose to inspire an associate’s best work. For millennials, it’s an experience worth living. For your firm, it's an experience worth creating.

The "Let's Do It Together" Generation

What do LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and a junior associate have in common?  They all work best in teams.  (As a rec league basketball player whose best playing days have passed, I’d love to say it’s basketball but sadly it’s not.)

In 2010, LeBron James (a millennial) engineered a super team in Miami, joining forces with fellow All Stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  At the time, Michael Jordan (a Gen X’er) openly scoffed at the notion of a great player joining his former opponents: 

“There's no way, with hindsight, I would've ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and said, 'Hey, look, let's get together and play on one team.' But that's ... things are different. I can't say that's a bad thing. It's an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

In 2016, Kevin Durant (a millennial) followed LeBron’s lead — leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join fellow MVP Steph Curry and a stable of All Stars in Golden State.  This time it was Charles Barkley (a Gen X’er) who openly scoffed: 

"I was disappointed. I was disappointed like I was disappointed when LeBron went to Miami. Kevin is a terrific player. He's a good kid. But just disappointed with the fact that he weakened another team and he's gonna kind of gravy train on a terrific Warriors team. Just disappointed from a competitive standpoint.”

Jordan and Barkley value rugged individualism and champion the belief that a transcendent player can and should forge his own path to victory.  James and Durant, on the other hand, value friendships and teamwork over the go-at-it-alone mindset.

To understand these dueling mindsets, just compare Jordan’s and Durant’s experiences on Team USA Olympic basketball squads.  

The story goes that, on the 1992 Dream Team, Jordan ruthlessly competed against his fellow Olympian, Clyde Drexler, in practices — so much so that teammates worried Jordan was destroying the confidence of his USA teammate.  Clyde The Glide’s transgression?  Some media members wondered if Drexler could become as good as Jordan.

In the 2010 Olympics, Kevin Durant had his first chance to play with now teammates Steph Curry and Andre Iguodola.  Durant loved Curry’s and Iguodola’s playing styles and, six years later, couldn’t pass up an opportunity to join them.  While Jordan viewed the Olympics as an opportunity to assert his individual brilliance, Durant dreamed about creating a super team with fellow competitors.

Durant’s and James’ decisions are not remarkable, however, especially considering that 75% of millennials say that social aspects are very important to workplace satisfaction.  See Neil Howe, Millennials in the Workplace: Human Resources Strategies for a New Generation (2010).  Durant and James made major career decisions based upon social aspects — that is, based upon friendship and collaboration.

A millennial associate’s workplace is the law office and, like Durant and James, they want to work in teams with people they like and trust.  As The Washington Lawyer aptly notes, “Developing a greater sense of collaboration within a law firm is a high priority. No one is locked away behind closed doors in new offices, unless it’s required for confidentiality.” See Sarah Kellogg, Law Office Design: Envisioning a New Archetype, The Washington Lawyer, June 2016.

The “Just Do It” mindset championed by Jordan has been replaced by the “Let’s Do It” mindset of today’s millennials.

The challenge for law firms is to explore ways in which their associates and partners can work together.  Collaboration re-charges a young associate’s batteries, releasing that attorney’s most productive and creative self.  So, let’s do it.