SPACE AGE - Offices! Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em, right? First, the law firm office was essential, then it was obsolete, now… well, that’s TBD at the moment. As’s Ben Seal writes in this week’s Barometer newsletter, flexible in-person work appears to be the new standard, and lawyers are returning to the office at a time when the market still hasn’t caught up, leaving firms with attractive leasing options. As opportunities abound, the future of law firm space is being decided right now. But unless everyone ultimately decides to follow PwC onto Remote Island, corporate real estate will likely be on the upswing soon enough. “When that happens, much of the opportunity facing law firms right now will dry up,” Seal writes. “Those who haven’t yet acted could be forced to choose from a set of far less favorable options. In the next few months, expect the flurry of activity in this space to grow. And for those firms that haven’t yet determined who they want to be when they get back to the office, or how they want the office to reflect that, it’s time to start thinking.” To receive the Barometer directly to your inbox each week, click here.

CREDIT CHECK - Clients and—in at least one instance—litigation funding companies are increasingly using their considerable leverage over law firms to create incentives and accountability around origination credit. Diversity, equity and inclusion experts agree that origination credit—specifically, how it’s awarded to women and minority attorneys—is one of the most important factors law firms must consider in trying to improve their ability to keep diverse talent. But it’s also one of the most mysterious and least tracked metrics in Big Law. As we explore in this week’s Trendspotter column, a shift to more equitable and transparent methods for assigning origination credit are, like most institutional changes at law firms, going to require external pressures. I’m interested to hear what you think: What can law firms do to make their process for assigning origination credit more equitable and transparent? How can clients and others help keep firms accountable in that regard? Let me know at [email protected].

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