As deal work continues to fuel demand in Big Law, corporate talent is increasingly mobile. Some firms are looking to improve the integration of new associates by rethinking work allocation systems.

Industry observers and talent development personnel say the pandemic exacerbated flawed methods of assigning work by bringing physical and mental barriers of integration to the forefront. On the physical side, associates were limited in establishing organic connections in an office environment. And that’s led to increased feelings of anxiety, and sometimes awkwardness, among associates seeking to forge relationships with senior lawyers and advocate for their own career development.