Discovery has taken on a whole new meaning in the legal world . . . discovering each other. Vault has released the results from its annual Office Romance survey, and the evidence is clear: lawyers are smooching it up in the workplace.
And the legal industry isn't just getting down with the rest of them—it's beating the crowd. According to the survey, 59 percent of respondents have participated in office romances. But 64 percent of respondents from the legal industry have caught the office love bug, and 71 percent of you legal office romantics would do it again (but don’t get too proud—other industries like publishing, advertising and marketing are kicking romantic dust on you legal folks).
Participated in Office Romance: Legal Industry
Why are legal offices so prime for romance? Perhaps it’s the long hours. One respondent shares, “I spend so much time at work that it's hard to meet people outside of work,” and another respondent indicates, “I work long hours. Meeting people is hard.”
Attorneys are finding love at the office and making the office their love headquarters too. Around 35 percent of you have had trysts in the office, and apparently more of you would like to use the office for romantic rendezvous, with one respondent stating “I wish!” and another stating “I would love to!!”
But not everyone in the legal industry is getting lovey dovey. Thirty-five percent of the legal-industry respondents have avoided office romances, with one of you putting “career first” and another noting that “[t]here has been flirtation but I don't think I would ever be in a relationship with someone I directly worked with.” Around 30 percent of those in the legal industry have felt uncomfortable over co-workers’ intra-office romantic relationships (interesting when compared to the 70 percent of you who don’t think your office romance has impacted others). And some of you believe these relationships lead to unfair favoritism within the office. One respondent thinks “that certain associates have joined the partnership ranks based on such romantic involvements,” while another respondent reports that a co-worker’s “closer relationship with the boss helped her get forewarning about upcoming deals and subsequently a better choice among those deals.”
Plus, not all office romances end well. Just over 15 percent of respondents from the legal industry have left jobs because of office relationships. And while people may not have been forced to leave due to office romances, they may get out anyway. According to one respondent, “I have made the decision that I cannot continue to work with [a prior flame] for my own sanity. It is very unfortunate because I have worked hard to build a good reputation at my firm and have an excellent chance at making partner here.”
Despite this discontent with office romances, only 9 percent of those in the legal field believe that office romances are never acceptable, less than half of those who believe they are always permissible.
Unacceptable Office Romances: Legal Industry
What do you think: are offices romances acceptable or not? How many of you are guilty of engaging in the law of love at your office? How many of you are steering clear of office love connections?
Vault’s 2011 Office Romance Survey
FOLLOW VAULT LAW ON TWITTER! @VaultLaw