Just like baby boomers and Gen X, millennial elder law or estate planning attorneys go into this practice area because they want to make a real difference in the lives of seniors and families. But that’s where the similarities end.
Work Must Have Meaning. This generation wants their work to matter to clients and to the community at large. They want to be challenged, hate being bored and have little patience for arbitrary processes that have no real purpose. Rewards must be more than monetary. Making a difference is what matters. Millennials also need to feel that they are growing as lawyers. They want to be challenged by assignments that are interesting and different.
Career Growth Matters. So Does Flexibility. When they talk work/life balance, millennials really mean it. A millennial won’t be the first to volunteer to pull an all-nighter unless it’s a project that really, really requires it. They have a different view of deadlines. Don’t tell a millennial that a document is due in court on Monday if it’s really due on Thursday. It will backfire.
Feedback is Essential. Millennials want lots of feedback. Blame their parents if you need to, but to keep them happy, schedule more frequent reviews, even if they are conversations that are not related to salary or advancements. They also expect you to give them clear directions and define specific goals to be achieved.
Transparency. You can’t just tell a millennial what you want them to do and expect them to obey blindly. They want to know what went into the decision. They might also ask that they be part of the decision making process next time. It’s not that they don’t think you know what you are doing. They expect to have an active role.
Playing Well With Others. Millennials like working in groups. In fact, they prefer a collaborative, team-based approach in the workplace to a competitive atmosphere.
They Know How the Digital World Works. Mostly. Don’t assume that just because someone is under 30 that they know all there is to know about social media or how your computer system works. They will know how your smart phone works. But we know millennials who refuse to use Face Time or Skype, started using Twitter in high school and then dropped it in college and think that the best use of Facebook is to keep their grandparents up to date with their lives.
Changing Jobs Does Not Scare Them. This is not as dramatic in law as it is in technology, but a millennial will not stick around if they are not happy in a law firm. They expect to be challenged, motivated and fulfilled and if they’re not, they are looking elsewhere. A baby boomer or Gen X will stay for the paycheck and the prestige, but the millennial will not.