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DELTA BLUES - The optimism of early summer, when vaccination rates were climbing and firms were finalizing return-to-office plans, has been replaced with something like a mixture of dread and déjà vu thanks to the rise of the Delta variant. As Law.com’s Dylan Jackson reports, law firm morale has taken a major hit firms waffle on office returns, child care arrangements remain precarious and attorneys, particularly young ones, feel increasingly disconnected from their firms. But with so much out of their control, what can firm leaders do to help? One key point is to give attorneys and staff as much certainty as possible with regard to plans heading into fall, Dr. Larry Richard, an organizational psychologist that works with Big Law firms, advised. The pandemic, Richard said, is triggering the threat circuitry in the brains of many people—especially those who are isolated or have young children at home. Any further uncertainty puts people at more risk. “What leaders can do is build as much predictability—once they make a decision—as is humanly possible, meaning giving as many specifics as possible. People feel more secure when they feel they have choices to make,” Richard said.

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