It's no surprise that millennials like to text. I do, too, and often I prefer it - and the more deliberate emailing - to speaking on the phone. It just depends on what I need to accomplish. My goal of effective communication (i.e., understanding and being understood) always trumps the medium - if it's a quick logistical issue that needs clarification, great. A quick text or email is perfect. If there is a problem to solve, an opportunity about which to brainstorm, or if my fellow communicator simply prefers a phone call - the phone wins.
In a recent OpenMarket survey, conducted nationwide, which polled millennials on their communication preferences, it was found they have an overwhelming desire to text. According to the recap by Center for Media Research, which reported on this survey, "75% of responding millennials would rather lose the ability to talk versus text."
This infographic pretty much sums up how millennials feel:
There are 77 million millennials in the U.S., now having surpassed the Baby Boomers as the largest population group. The brightest rising stars will run companies (or they already do) that hire law firms, and the millennial lawyers will soon become the largest population practicing law in their firms. C0nsider these questions:
- What does their privileged client communication look like?
- How do they form enduring client relationships where they can serve as the "trusted advisor" (the term that still so many lawyers hold up as the gold standard for their practices), when they find a voice call "disruptive?"
- And, what do their clients do when they get the millennial lawyer's voicemail - leave a message knowing the call may never get returned?
The practice of law and delivery of services continues to evolve. Just this week, Baker Hostetler announced that it has hired IBM's AI "Ross," the world's first artificially intelligent attorney, to be a part of its 50-lawyer bankruptcy team. Artificial intelligence is coming fast, whether law firms are on board or not. Ross will monitor the law around the world and around the clock - something that's hard for even the most ambitious and sleep-deprived lawyers to do. Clients have to love this.
And I imagine the millennials will love it, too. Ross is really the perfect millennial. No talking, just doing.