Lawyer Job-Seekers Should Consider Work Assignment System

Work assignments can be a big source of unhappiness for associates, but too often job-seekers fail to ask how assignments will be doled out.

Recruiter Stephen Engle of Major Lindsey & Africa told the Recorder the assignment system can have a “profound effect” on associate satisfaction. “I think most associates completely overlook this when they’re choosing between firms,” he said.

Law firms typically use one of three systems:

  1. A work-flow partner assigns matters.

  2. The firm publishes matters than need to be staffed, and associates are expected to go to the appropriate partner to volunteer.

  3. Any partner can approach any associate with work that needs to be done.

Systems that require associates to speak up can be difficult for those who are shy or don’t know what kind of work they want to do, the publication says. These people often end up with the work no one else wants.

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