Ronald H. Shechtman, Pryor Cashman's Managing Partner and Chair of the Labor + Employment Group, wrote for about the career development and work satisfaction advantages for associates at midsize firms.

In "Big Law Signing Bonuses Came And Went. Career Advancement Opportunities At Midsize Firms Remain," Ron notes that Pryor Cashman did not need to follow the pandemic-era "rush on associate talent because the nature of our associate work has always been focused on long-term development and satisfaction. And now we find ourselves in a better position than our larger peers to foster the cohort of rising talent."

The column outlines how midsize firms don't need to rely on leverage the way that larger firms do, which creates opportunities for associates to learn and do more hands-on work—and which leads to better associate satisfaction and lower levels of attrition:

Recently, I asked a litigation associate who had joined us about four months earlier from an Am Law 20 firm what was the biggest difference in working at Pryor Cashman. He told me that he was thrilled to be so directly involved with the partner running the case he was working on here, noting how many opportunities he gets to take a more advanced role, to participate in making critical decisions, and to be so "up front and forward" in the work he was doing. He described his previous experience as being "so far in the back" on cases that he did not know what was happening in matters he was working on or the strategies behind the work. Another associate mentioned that she started appearing in court and conducting depositions well before her Big Law counterparts, which has made her both a more skilled and a more confident lawyer ahead of many of her peers.

The throughline in this approach to work is mentorship. Working one-on-one with an experienced partner, and quickly becoming a trusted and valued member of a team, is mentorship in action. Associates in the midsize model do not feel like replaceable cogs in a giant machine—they learn quickly by working closely with formal and informal mentors, and they can do the kind of work from which lawyers get the most joy and fulfillment.

Read the full column using the link below (subscription may be required).

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