April 4, 2016

Bloomberg BNA

Editor’s Note: This post is written by two law firm associates. 

By Corey Laplante, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, and Katie Larkin-Wong, Latham & Watkins

Millennials are a much-maligned generation. Commentators of all stripes are pleased to dismiss us as entitled, distracted job-hoppers — unwilling to pay our dues. And they could be right. It’s more likely, though, that they have misinterpreted the impatience of a restless generation. We are deeply concerned about the world being left for us and our children. We want to take ownership; we want to shape the future we’re inheriting; and we want to do it while elevating historically minimized voices.

That is no less true of millennial lawyers working in “Big Law.” Though we’ve started our careers in a “pay your dues” environment, we share the hunger and impatience of our peers. We look around and see broken legal institutions crying out for reform. We can best contribute to such reforms if we draw on our generation’s best qualities: the desire to find meaning in our work and an appreciation for diversity.

A Legal System in Crisis

In a majority of states, there is not even one legal aid attorney for every 10,000 low-income Americans who qualify for legal aid. Eighty percent of litigants appear unrepresented in matters as important as evictions and child custody disputes — as do 83% of those held in Read more...