The Future of Work Allocation and Career Development

An excerpt from the Legal Resource Management Report, Part 2: The Future of Work Allocation and Career Development

Managing Disconnected Teams

There is a growing acknowledgement of the issues likely to result from the risk of disconnected teams in a hybrid working environment, not least in efficient work allocation. Firms are concerned about the lack of visibility to the work allocated from partners to associates (32% NA, 25% UK, 16% APAC) and the lack of visibility of capacity/ utilisation of associates (29% NA, 28% UK, 31% APAC).

Individual lawyer progression is also an issue, with firms citing the lack of visibility of opportunities for associate career development (27% NA, 29% UK, 14% APAC) and achieving knowledge transfer between staff (29% NA, 28% UK, 73% APAC). Without a way to effectively share skills and experience, how will firms ensure individuals progress through the ranks and gain the expertise required to build successful client relationships?

On a practical level, firms recognise the essential challenges of ensuring an even distribution of work between associates (27% NA, 24% UK 28% APAC) given the lack of partner understanding of how to allocate work to the best possible associates (29% UK, 26% NA, 12% APAC).



Without an effective way of managing the allocation of work across the firm, based on capacity, skills, experience and career expectations, how will firms successfully manage the long-term transition to a hybrid working model?

What will be the implications on profitability and client relationships? Furthermore, given the challenges facing firms in retaining associates – with lateral associate hiring increasing across the board - it is vital to understand the potential impact of uneven distribution of work and associate career development.

Competition for young talent is fierce – with firms promising faster tracks to partner and signing bonuses to attain the best associates. But how much of this movement could be avoided if firms dedicated the same effort and resources on nurturing existing talent? Improving resource management could minimise the turnover of associates, providing the consistency that is key to maintaining profitability and client relationships while avoiding the risk and disruption inevitable with a raft of new hires.


This was an excerpt from The Legal Resource Management Report. Access the full report to dive deeper into the findings from over 900 legal management professionals:

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