Whether you consider it the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle, 2021 threw the legal staffing world a curveball. Thomson Reuters “State of the Legal Market 2022” showed us that almost a quarter of all associates (23.2%) made a career move in 2021. Of those, 34% went to other AMLAW 200 firms, 11% went to boutique firms, and 16% took in-house positions. BigLaw’s reaction was to stop the bleeding by throwing more money at the problem with limited success. AmLaw 100 firms increased associate compensation by more than 15% and the AMLAW second hundred responded with an average increase of 11.3%. Still the reshuffle continues.
The knee-jerk response of pulling the wallet out indicates that large law firms know that losing attorneys is expensive. Aside from some anecdotal statements, though, nobody has attempted to quantify that expense.