Leaning Out: The 2013 Associate Survey

In almost every aspect of their professional lives, women midlevels are less satisfied than their male counterparts, according to our annual associates survey.

The American Lawyer

Associates Survey 2013

At first glance, the overall mood seems undeniably upbeat: In our 2013 Midlevel Associates Survey, third-, fourth-, and fifth-years at the country’s biggest law firms gave their employers the highest composite scores that we’ve seen in almost 10 years. Scores ticked up from last year in all 12 of the areas that we use to measure job satisfaction, including the interest level of the work, compensation, training, partner/associate relations, and billable hours. All terrific news, boding well for the profession, except this: In scrutinizing the data, we noticed a clear gender divide in how midlevels viewed their firms and futures. For the first time, we decided to focus on how women and men answered our questions to better understand the sexes’ differing associate experiences. In general, we found that men doled out higher scores in virtually every category of the survey, suggesting that they are more satisfied with the direction of their firms and their careers than their female counterparts. The genders also split when it came to priorities: Men expressed a greater desire to become a partner, while women often voiced uncertainty about staying on.



Previous Associates Survey coverage :: 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

THE FEATURES

HE SAID, SHE SAID
By Vivia Chen
In general, midlevels are happier with their jobs than they have been in years—but women are noticeably less satisfied than men.
MATCH SHAME
By Sara Randazzo
A surprising point of dissatisfaction for midlevels: the lack of a 401(k) match.
HAPPY—RELATIVELY SPEAKING
By Vivia Chen
Job satisfaction rebounds from recession-era lows.
METHODOLOGY
How we conduct our survey of midlevel associates.
RANKING ASSOCIATE SATISFACTION A national ranking of how third-, fourth-, and fifth-year associates rate their firms as workplaces. Drill down for firm-level data on how firms scored in such areas of quality of work, firm culture, and training.
THE LOCAL VIEW A city-by-city view of how associates rate their law offices.
NEW YORK
WASHINGTON
CHICAGO
SAN FRANCISCO
BOSTON
LOS ANGELES
ALL CITIES SURVEYED