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RETURN NOTICE - Last week, we told you about how Sullivan & Cromwell was “strongly encouraging” but totally not, like, forcing anyone to come back to the office. While the firm’s chair, Joseph Shenker, was adamant that no one at the firm should feel pressured to return to in-person work, some industry observers said that messaging could be confusing. “I think there is inherent bias in it,” Jennifer Johnson, CEO and founder of legal consulting firm Calibrate Legal, told Law.com’s Patrick Smith. “Meaning, it infers that there is some sort of judgement for not returning to the office.” But what’s the right way for a law firm to communicate its desire to bring people back together? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer but one thing’s for sure: firms should not try to craft the message by themselves. “If you are going to issue statements that are going to affect people’s lives, they need to be vetted by people outside the management bubble,” Johnson said. “You can’t have people who work in a boardroom just issue a statement if they don’t understand how it affects 99% of their employees.”
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