Posted On: April 21, 2008 by Ronald V. Miller, Jr.

Law Firm Associate Expectations

The Maryland Daily Record has an article in its Maryland Lawyer section this morning on associate retention in Baltimore law firms. I was amazed to read that one lawyer, who is on his third job, expressed dismay that his two previous law firms never asked him the kind of work he wanted to do. He says he was told, “Here are the cases we have, here are the clients we have and we’ll give you the work.” He complained that no one ever asked him, “What do you want to do?’” he said.

Tragically, these law firms only gave him the work that it had, not the work he wanted. Our law firm handles only personal injury cases. But if we had a lawyer who said, “Hey, I don’t want to handle personal injury work, I want to do mergers and acquisitions,” we would obviously run out and immediately pick up JPMorgan or Bear Stearns as clients. Are you telling me every law firm does not operate this way?

These cold sweat shop law firms that do not allow you to pick the work and the clients you want to do are the same kind of law firms that actually expect you to come to work on rainy days like today. The inhumanity!