While we’re well into 2022, Q1 is always a great period to reflect on the lessons and strides the legal industry made in the past year. This year, we asked a few legal influencers from our How I Made It series to share which Law.com stories were the most impactful to them in the past year and why.
Elizabeth Davis, chair and president, McGonigle:
Most impactful stories from 2021:
- The Way Back: How Law Firms Are Planning for Post-COVID Office Life
- Talent War Leads to More Boomerang Associates and Hiring Mismatches
- ‘Do They Really Give a Damn?’ Leah Ward Sears Is Tired of Talking About This
“These articles hit at the core of what the legal industry was facing this past year. The safety and wellness of our employees is our firm’s top priority so dealing with the pandemic and its lasting impact on office environment when it subsides (hopefully sooner than later) was certainly at the forefront.
The war for legal talent also presented many challenges on the recruiting front, especially given the increasing salaries for associates. Diversity, equity and inclusion is another firm priority, so we have definitely been keeping abreast of developments on that front so that we can continue to maintain our culture of equality and support.”
Nefertiti J. Alexander, partner, Kasowitz Benson Torres:
Most interesting stories from 2021:
- What 2021 Has Taught Us About Leadership
- The (Not So) Secret Sauce to Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
“The pandemic has brought increased attention to management of the human side of the workplace. I have found it encouraging to read about the increased commitment throughout the legal industry to implement policies that have been driven by the needs of all employees, who have made it clear that empathy is essential to creating an environment for ‘engagement, happiness and performance.’
At Kasowitz, not only have we continued our commitment to championing diversity and inclusion, but we are also implementing new initiatives to proactively support the wellness and mental health of our people through our Wellness Committee. As one example, we were able to bring in a mindfulness speaker to the firm this fall. Our firm’s Diversity Committee has also offered programming around films and books, such as Just Mercy and Between the World and Me, which has spurred authentic conversations focused on race and justice. In support of these firm-wide efforts, I also aim to provide psychological safety on my teams through regular one-on-one coaching sessions with associates, and have been open about the challenges I experienced as a first-generation college graduate and lawyer, as well as a working divorced mom of two young children.
The goal is always to create and nurture a work environment that allows our diverse group of lawyers and professionals to bring their whole selves to work. We are more than just colleagues, we are also parents, spouses, siblings, children and friends. This year, I will continue collaborating with my colleagues to further develop initiatives that will keep lawyers and staff ‘engaged and connected with leadership and each other.’”