The question of transparency in law firm management, and striking the right balance, has been a difficult one for law firms since long before March 2020. The level of transparency employed implicates more than just the flow of information. It implicates the power dynamic at a law firm (or any organization) and puts to the test any claims made about administering a democracy versus maintaining an oligarchy (or worse).

Mention the word “transparency,” and many will reflexively think “compensation.” I remember years ago speaking with a law firm communications director, trying to set up a conversation with firm leaders regarding an issue of client engagement on which I was pursuing a story. I was told, in paraphrase, “unless it’s really urgent, they’re not going to be able to talk to you until next week. They’re in the middle of working out partner compensation.”

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