sunynp wrote:rayiner wrote:itbdvorm wrote:w2e wrote:This is laughable. Come back and write about retention once you are actually an associate at the firm instead of reciting the pretty picture the firm fed you as a summer.
you're joking, right?
do you know how hard it is to find good midlevels (not just bodies, good ones or even tolerable ones)?
You can't let cyncicism replace rational thought. Firms need midlevels. They're extremely profitable for the firm. Headhunters charge a ton of money for every lateral hire they deliver. Also, when there is a vacancy there is an opportunity cost of foregone billing. That's why they care about retention, in the aggregate. That's why they pay bonuses. Otherwise there would be no reason to pay bonuses. They don't do it out of the kindness of their heart.
Well, not paying spring bonuses was an important factor in reducing firm expenses. Firms don't have to worry about holding on to laterals when there is no real demand from other firms. People do have to care a bit about mid-level associates because they fired so many people that their classes are small.
But the work and demand for big law remains close to what it was 2 years ago. Firms are being heavier pressured to cut fees. I think in this market the partners don't care about about keeping midlevels happy because there arent that many better jobs opening up.
Firms have always cared about retaining midlevel associates. The crunch is pretty severe now because of the layoffs a few years ago, but voluntary attrition was a big problem before the recession. Back in 2006, firms were paying $40k to first years. That was not because they wanted to share the wealth. It's because people were leaving. They're not leaving right now because the economy has slowed again, but even in 2011 they paid spring bonuses and that was because the lateral market was heating up again.