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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
YOU’VE CHANGED - Many law firm leaders are anxious to bring their attorneys and staff back to the office—but how many of them really understand just who will be returning? As Law.com’s Andrew Maloney reports, the combination of recent hires and departures, plus a new recognition of home-life stressors and the overall toll taken by the pandemic, means firm leaders will be welcoming back a much different mix of employees than the one that left the office in March 2020, both literally and psychologically. “I’m a real believer that coming back into the office is going to be almost as traumatic as leaving it 18 months ago. Because in the intervening months, people have gone through a hell of a lot of trauma and anxiety,” Jim Jones, a senior fellow at the Georgetown Law Center on Ethics and the Legal Profession, told Maloney. “You’ve got a different group of people coming back. And the firms that are going to be the most successful will understand that and manage their people well.” One way to do that is to make hoofing it into the office a worthwhile endeavor. “We’ve talked a lot about making sure teams come in and collaborate with each other, so people know when they come in, the people they want to see, their groups, are also going to be in the office,” said Joe Krasovec, managing partner at Schiff Hardin. “The concept is trying to bring people back with a purpose, so you don’t have somebody who makes the commute, then realizes, ‘I could’ve done the exact same thing from home.’”