Law Firms

Lawyers report high level of satisfaction with their jobs, but stress remains an issue, survey finds

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Eighty-three percent of surveyed attorneys report they are stressed at least some of the time, but 71% of the lawyers would not switch careers if given a chance for a do-over, according to survey findings by Law360 Pulse.

Fifteen percent of the surveyed lawyers said they worked more than 60 hours per week, while 27% worked 51 to 60 hours per week, the survey found. Seventeen percent expected to take only one week or less of vacation in 2023, the survey said.

Sixty-eight percent nonetheless said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall job, and 63% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their compensation.

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Law360 Pulse received survey responses from more than 1,300 lawyers, including 330 associates, 201 nonequity partners, 460 equity partners and 125 of counsel. The other lawyers had other positions, including in-house and government jobs.

The survey found some evidence of a gender gap. Thirty-one percent of female lawyer said their work-life balance has gotten worse in the past year, compared to 18% of male lawyers. Twenty-eight percent of female lawyers were satisfied with opportunities for advancement at their firm, compared to 35% of male lawyers. Sixty percent of the female lawyers had no student debt, compared to 75% of the male lawyers.

And forty-six percent of female lawyers said they felt stress all or most of the time, compared to 28% of male lawyers.

In addition, 41% of female lawyers said they have personally encountered gender discrimination on the job, compared to only 5% of male lawyers.

Another survey question asked the lawyers which law firm that they would choose, based on reputation, if they could work elsewhere. The lawyers could select up to three firms.

The five firms getting the most mentions were:

    • Latham & Watkins (23 mentions)
    • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (16 mentions)
    • Kirkland & Ellis (14 mentions)
    • Sidley Austin and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr (with 12 mentions each)

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