- On October 17, 2021
The Great Resignation is going on, and I’ve got a bird’s eye view. The top reasons I see Bay Area lawyers quitting are:
- Better opportunities. I’ve been recruiting in-house lawyers 15 years, and I have never seen it so hot. Lawyers are constantly presented with interesting work that could give them a better career trajectory. (See here for why the legal market is so hot.)
- Easier recruiting process. Candidates don’t have to invest as much to interview or get an offer. You don’t have to take a day off from work to interview since it’s via video, and almost everyone I talk to has already been contacted by a recruiter. Even passive candidates (those not looking) are being tempted.
- Better pay. Base salaries have risen due to increased competition for lawyers (and increased profits for many companies). Indeed the WSJ recently quoted a jobs expert: “Jobs are plentiful, wages are rising and companies are competing for talent.”
- Better boss. Unfortunately law school doesn’t teach people how to manage. I’ve seen candidates with multiple offers not choosing the highest paying job but going with the best manager, someone they have good rapport with, a great reputation, and a track record of developing reports. (Showing the impact of managers, the WSJ reported prospective employers have to pay 20+% more to hire away employees from the manager who hire them on.)
- Avoiding in-office requirements. As employers start to call people back in the office, more people are re-thinking whether they want to go back in. Some have family members whom they can’t risk bringing home the virus. Others have moved to areas with more affordable housing, where commuting occasionally to San Francisco or Silicon Valley is do-able but not every day. Others have moved out of the area completely and need remote jobs.