Millennials are the largest generation in history. By 2025, we will comprise up to an estimated 75 percent of the workforce. In the meantime, older attorneys dominate the legal profession, which can be difficult when navigating the generational gap among associates and senior partners. It is important for us to recognize and demonstrate the distinctive competencies we bring to the table to leverage our value within the evolving practice of law.
Millennials grew up during the digital era, became familiar with technology at an early age, and consider computers, cell phones, and the Internet to be integral and necessary parts of our lives. Demonstrate how these tech-savvy skills can benefit your practice when it comes to legal research, e-discovery, or utilizing apps on mobile devices.
You are constantly on your phone anyway. As you mindlessly scroll through social media posts for hours, why not take a few seconds to check work email? The simple willingness and ability to respond quickly to a colleague’s message goes a long way.
Millennials thrive on efficiency and convenience. We have mastered the art of multitasking. Try new technologies and suggest ways to increase productivity by incorporating them into standard operating procedures.
Social Media Presence
You are already accustomed to constant networking through social media. Look for opportunities to educate senior colleagues about using platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Use your extensive social media skills to build strong relationships in the virtual world to network with other attorneys (#LawTwitter, anyone?) and for business development by engaging with clients and decision makers.
On-Trend and Culturally Relevant
Millennials are exponentially more in tune with pop culture than older generations. Frame this as valuable in the right context. Personal opinions aside, the Kardashians are undeniably culturally relevant to an unprecedented degree. If a client happens to be a fan of KUWTK, use the opportunity to engage and connect on a personal level—just as one would with sports, about which we are expected to be competent enough to exchange pleasantries for rainmaking purposes.
By leveraging our professional value, millennials can bridge the generational gap to help older colleagues embrace the inevitable as we continue to change the legal profession and become the face of its future.