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Report Highlights: Associates’ Retention Factors in Law Firms
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Compensation Tops the List

Compensation remains the primary factor influencing associates’ decision to stay at their law firms, followed closely by work-life balance considerations and career advancement opportunities. This insight comes from a recent report unveiled by the National Association for Law Placement Foundation (NALP) on Tuesday.

Compensation Across All Parameters

The NALP Foundation’s report underscores the significance of compensation, noting that it received consistently high ratings across various dimensions, including firm size, seniority level, gender identity, and race/ethnicity.

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Lucrative Earnings in Large Firms

According to the report, associates at major U.S. law firms can earn between $225,000 and $435,000, contingent upon their seniority. This salary range, initially set by Milbank and then Cravath, Swaine & Moore, reflects the competitive nature of compensation in the legal profession.

Extensive Survey Insights

Drawing from a survey encompassing more than 3,300 associates from 57 law firms across the United States and Canada, the NALP Foundation examined various factors influencing associates’ decisions to stay or leave their current employers.

Comprehensive Analysis

The report meticulously categorized responses based on gender identity, race/ethnicity, geographical location, firm size, and tenure within the firm, offering a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics at play.

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Gender Disparities in Priorities

While work-life balance was highly valued across the board, the study revealed that female associates emphasized this aspect more than their male counterparts.



Clarity on Career Advancement

Beyond mere opportunities for progression, associates expressed a strong desire for clarity regarding the pathways to advance their careers. The report highlights the importance of transparent career trajectories within law firms.

About the NALP Foundation

The NALP Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing research and insights into the legal industry, conducted this study as part of its ongoing efforts to offer valuable information to legal professionals and firms alike.

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