Last month, we polled legal techies and found that most of them feel as though legal vendors offer the best work/life balance in their niche, garnering 47% of the votes. Government and corporate legal received the second and third most votes with 31% and 19%, respectively, while law firms came in dead-last with only 3% of those polled suggesting law firms offer the best working environment. Since the results of our prior poll told us very few legal tech professionals feel law firms provide a good work/life balance when compared to other types of employers, we decided to dig into the law firm environment to find out what size law firms tend to offer the most favorable conditions.
The question was directed at legal tech professionals who work/have worked in a law firm:
What size firm generally offers the best work/life balance?
And the answers were:
3% Solo Law Firms
50% Small/Boutique Law Firms
30% Medium Law Firms
17% Large Law Firms
We had an excellent response to this survey and some suggestions to investigate practice groups and specialties to investigate the topic further. In terms of results, most legal techies (a full 80% of them!) feel as though boutique and medium-sized firms are the places to work if you seek a beneficial work/life balance. However, with only 3% of the vote, solo law firms seem not to have a good reputation for fostering a happy work life. Larger firms did much better than solo shops, but with less than 1/5th of workers identifying BigLaw as their happy place, it is evident that most workers feel finding something in the middle is the best idea.
Based on these results, it would be interesting to know if legal tech professionals would accept a lower salary to position themselves in a smaller firm that offers a healthy work environment and reasonable hours. Conversely, do large law firms pay more so they can convince people to work in less-than-ideal conditions? We are organizing a podcast to discuss these topics and would love to have some input from the legal community sharing questions or ideas to cover during the recording. Please comment below and let us know what you think!
David A. Netzer
President, Legal Tech Talent Network