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WANT YOU BACK - Law firms have already started to discover that, while there’s more than one right away to bring people back to the office post-pandemic, there are also plenty of potential wrong ones. As the hope of getting back to some semblance of normalcy after nearly a year and a half in lockdown grows, some firm leaders are getting antsy to start bringing attorneys and staff back together in the office, at least for part of the week. But, as we explore in this week’s Law.com Trendspotter column, the method—and perhaps more importantly—the message firms choose can impact their ability to attract and retain talent. After all, in an industry as hypercompetitive as legal, there’s bound to be paranoia about the potential consequences of failing to read between the lines of office return memos from upper management. For many lawyers and staff, a phrase like, for example, “strongly encouraged” is likely to be construed as code for “required,” even if that was never the firm’s intention—and that kind of miscommunication can have serious consequences. Before we dive in, I’m interested to hear what you think: Should firms be mandating that people return to the office at some point or should they be allowing for increased flexibility going forward? Either way, what should their messaging look like? Let me know at [email protected].

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