Associate satisfaction survey shows firms can't buy loyalty

September 6, 2011 The American Lawyer has released the results of its annual associate satisfaction survey, which showed that associates billed more hours last year in comparison to 2009. In fact, the average associate billed 2,037 in 2010, which equates to almost 8 billable hours every single week day of 2010. That is certainly hard work.

Unsurprisingly, the survey reported a decline in associate satisfaction in the same period.

One interesting finding from the survey was that there was no correlation between associates’ level of satisfaction with compensation and their expectation of sticking with the same firm in the next two years.

On the impact of spring bonuses, AM Law Daily had this to say: “Data from two years of surveys of midlevel associates suggests that these bonuses have minimal impact on associates’ morale.

“The extra paydays don’t even guarantee that associates will be more satisfied with their compensation. Instead, these me-too bonuses have more swagger than purpose—a hollow signal to the world that the firms that dole them out are worthy of first-tier status.”

Read more at blogs.wsj.com.

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