“Most of the folks that join a law firm don’t want to matriculate to partnership, or at least that’s not their goal with the same conviction as it would have been in the 1980s and 1990s,” Matthew Gemello said on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast.
But those lawyers also want to take control of their careers in a way that may not have been true for prior generations of lawyers, said Gemello, an M&A partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Menlo Park, Calif., and the leader of the firm’s global corporate business unit.
“Big Law is an amazing place to start for a whole bunch of jobs,” he said, and associates “are coming in with a proactive sense of where they want to go. There’s a tremendous amount of career flexibility and nimbleness.”
That’s both an opportunity and a challenge for law firm managers. Ideally, he said, firms should have “engaged conversations with their young associates about what they want to do, where they want to land, how they’re thinking about their career development, and the firms should lean in about the training that’s necessary.”
“It’s mutually beneficial for us if we can help a young associate get some training and go to an in-house position. That’s Business Development 101. But being direct and transparent about it is one of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my career.”
Check out the podcast with Matthew Gemello below: