‘Underappreciated’ lawyers likely to quit, research reveals

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Survey highlights associate retention risks

A recent survey has suggested that feeling underappreciated may be the biggest reason for lawyers to jump ship.

The survey carried out by Thomson Reuters included responses from more than 100 UK associates on their current job satisfaction.

From this group, 36% considered themselves ‘likely to leave’ their firm. By comparison, partners were less likely to leave with only 25% contemplating a switch.

The five biggest factors causing associates to consider leaving were feeling underappreciated (48%); the firms compensation system (45%); lack of career progression (38%); associate compensation (35%); and their firm’s lack of interest in their well-being (25%).

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On the other hand, a group of associates that identified as ‘likely to stay’, were inclined to do so because of flexible working (65%), fair, treatment (62%), and the option to be themselves at work (57%). The survey recommends that firms focus on these three areas to improve future associate retention.

But overall the survey emphasises the importance of valuing employees’ contributions. Thomson Reuters director of environmental, social and corporate governance content, Natalie Runyon, noted that “offering a simple ‘Thank you’ and ‘Well done’ are a pretty small outlay relative to the cost of losing key talent”.

This is one of several recent reports in the news concerning lawyers’ mental health and well-being, with Legal Cheek recently covering research that found nearly two-thirds of lawyers had experienced burnout.

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“From this group, 36% considered themselves ‘likely to leave’ their firm. By comparison, partners were less likely to leave with only 25% contemplating a switch.”

People with personal financial investment in firm more committed to firm than people without personal financial investment.

Come back next week for shocking revelations about the Pope’s religion.


1) many partners are salaried – particularly at US firms;
2) partners can have different reasons for feeling under appreciated particularly if they are bringing in a large volume of client work but feel they are not getting fair recognition or reward for doing so – particularly true at magic circule firms still stuck in lockstep remuneration.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Good article, LC. A thank-you, seniors who talk to you as a person and not a meat grinder go a long long way

Howdy Pardna

Bye. The partnership will not be missing you. “Under-appreciated” usually means “going nowhere and having to take a step down or out as a career move”.


In today’s news: the sky is blue


No it isn’t.

It’s raining!


Perhaps it sounds trivial but I would say the vast majority of us, at different stages, have that horrible realisation that what you put in very often doesn’t equate to what you get out. It’s a useful lesson but perhaps inevitable that you will enter the profession open minded and wanting to be as useful as possible in every circumstance and on every matter.


Shocking news. Would’ve never thought that people who feel underappreciated might be thinking of going elsewhere. Surprised Alan hasn’t yet written another “woke people destroying the profession” comment, must be past his medication time ZZzzZZzz

Slogan Shovells

Rumour has it that next week Legal Cheek will be publishing their 2023 showstopper article headlined: “1 in 3 hungry lawyers are likely to eat during their lunch break”

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