Much has been written about the impact of the pandemic on law firms and law firm culture. What others are calling the “Great Resignation” amounts to an upheaval in the legal talent market. Partners and associates are making career path and employer changes at an unprecedented pace making talent retention a critical priority. Junior associates still need the apprenticeship-type training and mentoring senior lawyers took for granted, and yet it seems inevitable that hybrid work will remain a long-term reality making it challenging to meet that critical need. In short, the pandemic has brought into focus the need for law firms and law firm leaders to be strategic about fostering the connections, engagement, learning and innovation that will allow them to both attract and retain top talent.
Leading through periods of intense change is always challenging, but not usually so fraught with uncertainty. It is one thing to lead through a targeted cultural shift, such as a merger. It is quite another to lead through a period of industry-wide disruption, with no clear end or outcome in sight. We offer some tried and true leadership practices for firms and partners who are focused on retaining and developing top talent in the current context.