Published on:

Turnover costs of losing a lawyer from the department

In my post of May 14, 2005 I exceedingly roughly estimated the loss when a lawyer leaves a law department – a hair over $100,000. I based the SWAG on ABA data about law firm turnover costs. Now, new data suggests the law firm costs are twice as high, so I suspect my law department estimates were too low.

Law Practice, in its June 2005 issue at 7, cited data from Catalyst, a nonprofit research organization [ 2005]. Among Canadian law firms of 25 lawyers or more, the turnover loss comes to twice the cost of the average associate’s annual salary.

Posted in:
Published on:

One response to “Turnover costs of losing a lawyer from the department”

  1. This is interesting since the number one complaint I have heard from managing partners over the years is the “soft cost” of losing staff and attorneys. I never bought into the argument. In fact, there are some firms that actively design systems which design lawyer advancement hurdles which encourage lawyers to leave after two or three years. This is the point where they start making real money and moving towards partnership. The margins on new attorneys who bill over two thousand hours a year and are paid the least in the firm are pretty good. If the soft costs are so high, why don’t law firms do more to provide a quality of life for their attorneys?