Lawyer burnout is real, and it will be increasing for some time as ever-growing workloads collide with an acute shortage of lawyers as the legal talent wars turn red hot. What is good news for lawyers, including newly-minted ones who in earlier periods had real fears of not landing their first legal job, is bad news for in-house and law firm recruiting efforts. Not only is compensation reaching epic levels, but the constant tit for tat increases between Biglaw firms is making it difficult for in-house counsel recruiters to find attorneys willing to make the move in-house. What is a lawyer in this environment to do? Take advantage of the high demand and career opportunities that are available, but also read up on the tips, pointers and guides that will help you manage increased workloads until the market is able to reach a new equilibrium.
“Law firms will be able to easily absorb higher expenses driven by a talent war because of strong revenue growth in 2021, according to the 2022 Citi Hildebrandt Client Advisory released Thursday. Average revenue growth for the first nine months of the year is expected to be 14.7% higher than the same period of 2020, according to the report, available here, by Citi Private Bank’s Law Firm Group and Hildebrandt Consulting. “In this strong demand growth environment, there are not enough lawyers to handle the rising tide of work, with total lawyer head count growing just 0.7%,” the report said. “Indeed, productivity was up 6.1% for the first nine months, making burnout a real issue for many firms where productivity was already high.”…So far, the talent war has resulted in a 14% increase in compensation expenses, which are the primary driver in overall expense growth of 8%.”