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“Generation Y” lawyers are moving away from the partnership track. But for different reasons than some law firm partners might think.

The Yorkshire edition of the www.thebusinessdesk.com in a recent article made the following comments: The ambition of becoming partner is reducing in its attraction to “Generation Y” lawyers, which is requiring law firms to adapt their approach to the career development of its staff.

“10 years ago, people’s ambition was to become a partner,” said a Partner from Walker Morris. “Now they are looking for a slightly different balance in their lifestyle and getting to partnership is not where they ultimately see themselves ending up. There has been a significant shift in recent years to in-house teams where they feel they can get good quality work, suitable professional recognition and a rewarding career. There are some people that think it’s a slightly easier career in terms of hours worked but I think that’s not always the case.’”

The article continued to highlight some of the reasons why partnership might not be as much as a focus as it has been in the past.

The in-house legal recruitment team at BCL Legal has definitely seen an increase in the numbers of lawyers looking to make the move in-house over the past 10 years. We are always interested in those lawyers that want to make a positive move into commerce and industry as opposed to those seeking to move away from some of the negative aspects of being a private practice lawyer.

We have written before that the lawyers that come to us looking for a move away from private practice due to: long hours, slow promotional opportunities, client demands, time recording, the list goes on… Quite frankly there is nothing more depressing in hearing these negative factors. We are far more inspired by those lawyers who have the personality, commercial acumen and drive to get into a business and make a difference using their legal and commercial skills. The vast majority of businesses with an in-house lawyer operate at the top end of their markets turning over vast fortunes. They want the best people in their business and increasingly view lawyers as a necessity in making this happen.

It is my view that the majority of lawyers that do get to make the move in-house are at the top of their game with the aspirations to climb even higher and see the challenge of doing this in business more appealing than doing so within a law firm.

Mark Levine is the Director of In-house Legal recruitment at BCL Legal. With one of the largest in-house legal recruitment teams in the UK, BCL Legal is keen to work with aspiring in-house lawyers and companies looking to recruit in this arena. For assistance or more information, Mark can be contacted via marklevine@bcllegal.com

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