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Lawyers and their generations

Like or hate it, if you’re a lawyer then the year you were born will almost certainly dictate your working style – and whether or not you enjoy collaborating.

By 2020, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) will make up half of the global working populationi. And they have a very distinctive working style which marks them out from Generation X lawyers and even Baby Boomer lawyers.

For one thing, Millennials love collaboration. They’re participative and they like consensus. Rather than asking what you think of an idea, they may instead want to know how it makes you feel.

Essentially, this means millennials have a strong sense of community. And since you can’t have community on your own, they’re team-orientedii. So they need a workspace which favours collaboration, with all of the spaces and places that suit their preferred agile working style. They need the supporting technology, too – from ‘wallware’ for sharing ideas, to mobile apps that move around with them, to agile project management for holding it all together.

This kind of workspace isn’t unheard-of in the legal sector, but it’s certainly less common. It may be that law firms will need to catch up fast in order to attract the best of the new generation of legal talent. The quality of that workspace matters, too – 69% of Millennials would trade other benefits for a better workplaceiii.

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From The ABC of XYZ by Mark McCrindleiv


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Our Global Design Director, Simon Pole, has a special interest and experience in the legal sector. In this book, he shares his in-depth thoughts about a wide range of issues, from AI to the battle of the generations via smart buildings and serendipity.