We’ve come full circle from the Great Recession. The numbers are in and, according to The American Lawyer, mid-level associates are happier than they have ever been – but paradoxically, more prone to move to a new firm. These mid-level associates are actually working harder (as evidenced by the number of hours) and have been given more tools (at least technology that help them work longer, faster, better) and have more perceived job security than in recent years., but they are unsure about their future at their current firm.

The survey focuses on big firms, and the associates are billing hours that are north of two thousand hours (2,011 hours, to be exact). Their salaries are actually decreasing (but with the bonuses they receive, their salaries have remained largely stagnant).

What’s really interesting about the survey this year is that associates are happy, even if they don’t have certainty in their career. Nearly a third of those surveyed (30.9%) said that they “didn’t know” where they would be in their careers in just five years. Less than 8% of associates think that they will be a partner at their current firm.

Law firms should take note that these associates are not confident in their partnership track and can be scooped up by a competitor. Associates should realize that the job market that they are in now is no longer the doom-and-gloom scenario they faced when they graduated from law school. Now is an excellent time to review your options in the legal market.

The article and survey results can be found here: http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202735048441/Midlevel-Associates-In-Demand-and-Loving-It