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Gen Z is shaking up the Legal Sector

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Gen Z is shaking up the Legal Sector

​In today’s talent-short market, legal firms must adapt to attract and retain Gen Z talent. This generation has entered the workplace with more defined requirements than ever before, shaking up the traditional employer/employee dynamic. Understanding their unique work preferences and priorities is crucial for fostering a work environment that will keep this generation engaged.

To retain and engage this generation, understanding the generational differences is key:

Generation Z

Born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, Gen Z values work-life balance, flexible schedules, and technological integration. They prefer working smarter, not harder and seek meaningful work that aligns with their personal values.


Born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, millennials are known for their strong work ethic, which has been shaped by economic recessions. They often work longer hours and are highly adaptable to technology.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964, boomers typically have a traditional work ethic, valuing dedication and loyalty. They may prefer structured work environments and have historically separated work from personal life.

The misalignment of priorities between generations is evident, and it’s up to Baby Boomers and Millennials to create a workplace that promotes a balance between the traditional work culture and ethic of older generations and the innovative approaches of Gen Z.

Some practical ways to do this are:

Flexible schedules: Be open to the possibility of allowing Gen Z to self-manage their day. This can be achieved with greater flexibility around lunch breaks and work start and finish times if they don’t conflict with client meetings, team meetings, and urgent work demands. The location of work could also be flexible, e.g., leaving work early and then finishing something off from home at night.

Technological integration: Leverage technology to streamline processes and enable remote work, catering to Gen Z’s tech-savvy nature and preference for efficient work methods. Look at investing in AI and developing strong precedents and document management systems to enhance efficiency.

Smart working strategies: Encourage a culture where working smarter, not harder, is prioritised. This can include setting realistic client expectations on turnaround times, teaching work delegation of routine/admin tasks, and promoting efficient workflows.

Setting client expectations: Adjusting client expectations is vital to allow for flexible work arrangements. Clear communication about response times and availability can help manage expectations, create boundaries, and ensure client satisfaction without overburdening employees.

Mentorship: Implement programs that encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration between different generations as well as between different practice areas. This could be achieved, for example, through a monthly catch-up with a Gen Z employee where they can provide input and ideas on what would enhance their learning and development.

Open communication: Gen Z isn’t afraid of hard conversations, so ensure there are open channels for feedback (positive or constructive) and discussions about work preferences and expectations.

Attracting and retaining Gen Z in legal firms requires an understanding of their work preferences and the ability to integrate these with the strengths of other generations. As expert legal recruiters, we work with many employers who are starting to fine-tune this balance and are delivering on the expectations of their valued Gen Z team. If you are looking for a flexible and forward-looking workplace to extend your legal career, contact one of the CoLegal recruiters today.