By: Christine Simmons, New York Law Journal
Despite perennial complaints among associates about life in Big Law, a combination of rising paychecks, greater attention to associate satisfaction and a more cautious lateral market may be keeping young lawyers at their firms longer.
On average, 16 percent of associates left their firms in 2016, compared with 20 percent in 2015, according to NALP Foundation data for its Update on Associate Attrition Study.
That's the lowest attrition rate in the last four years of the study, according to the NALP Foundation, which gathers information on law firm associate departures from firms of all sizes in the United States and Canada.
Gretta Rusanow, head of advisory services at Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Group, said law firms are repeatedly reporting this year that associate attrition is falling, driven in part by widespread salary increases that were sparked when first-year associate pay at leading New York firms rose by $20,000 to $180,000 last year.