NOT-SO-HORRIBLE BOSSES - What’s the matter with these kids today? Suddenly it’s not OK to berate, intimidate, manipulate and humiliate young lawyers in the workplace? Apparently, as Law.com’s Patrick Smith reports, that management style doesn’t work anymore. Believe it or not, current partners and practice leaders say fear-based bullying tactics are counterproductive with younger generations of lawyers and do nothing to inspire loyalty at a time when attorneys are changing jobs like we used to change our clothes before the pandemic. But how’s anyone supposed to learn the ropes in a “professional” and “supportive” environment? Turns out that putting a premium on transparency and (non-yelling) communication goes a long way toward creating one of those culture thingies you hear so much about. “It is about earning that respect,” said Shayda Le, a partner at employment, labor and benefits law firm Barran Liebman in Portland, Oregon. “The partners now understand that if the associates don’t respect you, they may still perform but they won’t stick around.”
ZOOMING THROUGH IT - Another surefire way to connect with younger generations at work is to pull out the occasional pop culture reference to prove that you’re not a square. For example: Virtual litigation has 99 problems—but mediation ain’t one! As Law.com’s Jasmine Floyd reports, litigators and mediators say alternative dispute resolution seems to run just as smoothly on Zoom as in person, and they want to keep it that way. “Attorneys are able to get mediations settled quickly and efficiently,” said former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears, now a partner with Smith Gambrell Russell in Atlanta. “I believe this esteemed resolution is certainly the future, and it can be done pretty effectively through online calls. It’s certainly been a very important part of us keeping the justice system alive during the pandemic.”
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