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Law firm leaders are increasingly concerned about losing business professional talent—not just to other law firms.

Jennifer JohnsonIn an American Lawyer article authored by Patrick Smith, Calibrate Founder and CEO Jennifer Johnson weighs in on the migration of business professional talent out of the legal industry and what factors could be driving this change.

Business professionals have long felt under appreciated and less autonomous in their work than their lawyer colleagues. But law firms have traditionally offered better compensation and benefits for these roles, which helped with retention.

Johnson says law firms still tend to pay more than typical corporate jobs, but it isn’t just about the money.

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Recruiting is like dating,” she said. “You put on your best outfit and both sides rehearse. Then you show up. We have had a number of people who started in the last three months who are saying ‘get me out of here.’ It’s all rainbows and unicorns until it isn’t.”

She said the primary concern for business professionals is the lack of commitment and clarity on work flexibility, something that has been all over the place in the legal industry.

“Firms saying they will be flexible and then trying to put a stake in the ground on having business professionals come into the office will drive people to the exits,” Johnson said.

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