Born between 1927 and 1945, Traditionalists (also known as the Silent Generation) are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. About 95% of the Traditionalists are retired from the workforce. Those who remain in the workforce are at or near retirement age and many work reduced hours. Traditionalists in the legal workplace are largely aging partners, managers, senior support staff and “of counsel” to law firms.
Below are a few common characteristics of Traditionalists.
Hardworking: Raised by turn-of-the-century farmers, Traditionalists brought a strong work ethic into the factories of industrialized society. Traditionalists grew up during lean times and consider work a privilege. This generation believes you earn your own way through hard work. Traditionalists are willing put in long, grueling hours to get ahead in their legal careers.
Loyal: Traditionalists are civic-minded and loyal to their country and employer. Unlike younger generations Generation Y and Generation X, many Traditionalists worked for the same employer their entire life and are less likely to change jobs to advance their careers than younger generations.
Submissive: Raised in a paternalistic environment, Traditionalists were taught to respect authority. Traditionalists are good team players and generally don’t ruffle any feathers or initiate conflict in the workplace.
Tech-Challenged: Of all four generations in today's workplace, the Traditionalists are slow to change their work habits. As a whole, they are less technologically adept than the younger generations. As technology evolves and changes the practice of law, Traditionalists may struggle to learn new technology and work processes.
Traditional: Traditionalists value traditional morals, safety and security as well as conformity, commitment and consistency. They prefer brick-and-mortar educational institutions and traditional lecture formats to online, web-based education. In the legal workplace, they favor conventional business models and a top-down chain of command.