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Keeping the Keepers IV:  Mobility & Management of Associate Talent is a comprehensive study of associate hiring, attrition and retention from 2012–2018 sponsored by the NALP Foundation and Major, Lindsey & Africa (MLA). As the legal profession wrestles with the COVID-19 pandemic’s short and long-term impacts, the study’s rich historic perspective and unique data provide much-needed insights for law firms to critically assess and better understand how to develop and retain talent. Key topics covered in Keeping the Keepers IV include the recent shift in law firm hiring from entry to lateral hiring, the evolution of non-partnership track opportunities, hiring sources (OCI and otherwise), associate attrition, associate departures, including reasons for both entry and lateral departures and associate destinations, and firms’ pre-COVID planning for a potential recession. 


Keeping the Keepers IV includes fall 2019 supplemental survey, which explored 68 firms’ hiring sources, referral incentives, alternative career path opportunities, recruiting efforts, as well as hiring and retention trends. For the first time in the Keepers series, the NALP Foundation and MLA added new analyses of the data by race/ethnicity and tenure past the five-year mark, as well by geographic region and chronological distribution of attrition rates.


Discounted rates are available only to NALP Foundation members and supporters. Not sure which pricing option applies to your organization? Click here for a list of organizations or here for a list of law schools that currently support the NALP Foundation, or for questions contact Skip Horne at or (619) 873-6408.

Keeping the Keepers IV: Mobility & Management of Associate Talent (2020)

  • Your additional 6% donation helps The NALP Foundation defray our credit card processing fees.  Thank you for supporting our non-profit organization!

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