As pointed out in one of the sources below, September marks a kind of reset for law practice. More relaxed summer schedules are behind, and it is “back to work.” But, what is that likely to look like this particular September? The quote below, from Above the Law, gives us one perspective from a law firm consultant and should give law firm management some degree of pause.
Law firms are different from other businesses—they just are. Lawyers don’t want to be told what to do and when to do it.
We are professionals. We know that if we want to be in that office with our colleagues then that office is doing a good job.
[A]nything that is an unnecessary order can create resentment.
— Law firm consultant Alexa Ross, in comments given to the American Lawyer on the concept of “core” hours within law firms operating with hybrid work policies. Lawyers should “look forward” to coming to the office, she said, rather than being required to do so. “That increases productivity tremendously,” Ross said, “it also decreases attrition.”
And the following article adds insight into the responsibility of law firm managements in meeting the challenges of changing times after the pandemic upended much of what law firm managements believed in.
Captioned as “Did Labor Day Make A Difference For The Legal Profession?”, the article explores how the pandemic changed how work was accomplished, the meaning of “hybrid work”, and how law firms of the future are going to be different, including the impact of AI, and recommendations for management on dealing with the reluctance of lawyers to return to the office and the importance of the impact on productivity and how that impacts the various players.
One of the concepts addressed, “Colleague Connect”, is not on my list of favored methodologies. A little too Big Brother for me! I think we can do better.