Midlevel associates rated these firms tops for job satisfaction; survey finds hybrid work preference

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Midlevel associates surveyed by the American Lawyer have ranked McDermott Will & Emery No. 1 for job satisfaction.

The firm’s ranking jumped from its 2020 position of No. 29, according to a chart and story published by the American Lawyer.

The top 10 rankings went to:

1. McDermott Will & Emery

2. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

3. O’Melveny & Myers

4. Baker & Hostetler

5. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

6. Ropes & Gray

7. Goulston & Storrs

8. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

9. Latham & Watkins

10. Eversheds Sutherland

More than 3,700 third- four- and fifth-year associates from 77 Am Law 200 firms filled out the survey, according to a separate story by the American Lawyer.

The associates were asked to rate their workplaces on a scale of 1 to 5 on several aspects of job satisfaction, with 5 being the top score. The categories were compensation and benefits, training and guidance, relations with partners and other associates, interest in and satisfaction level with the work, the firm’s policy on billable hours, and management’s openness about firm strategies and partnership chances.

Overall, midlevel associates gave their law firms lower ratings in 2021 than in 2020. The average score for all law firms was 4.26, down from a 4.32 average in 2020.

Other survey findings:

• About 78% of associates said they would prefer a hybrid work schedule that does not require them to be in the office full time.

• Work-life balance is the most influential factor in an associate’s decision to jump to another firm. Sixty percent of associates said they would consider leaving their firm for better work-life balance, compared to only 27% of associates who said they would leave their firm for higher compensation.

• Midlevels gave their law firms high marks for communication and transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, but that communication seems to have declined. Last year, firms were rated 4.3 on average for management transparency, compared to 4.13 this year.

• Associates rated their firms an average of 4.23 for their ability to support remote work, up from 3.85 last year, according to a different American Lawyer story.

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