Julie Jones has been thinking a lot about connection and communication. Since taking over as chair of Ropes & Gray on Jan. 1, 2020, she’s navigated the firm through more than a year of the pandemic and is now focused on how to turn the corner with its culture and community intact. She sees the sense of dislocation that so many are feeling these days, and knows that associates feel like they’re stuck on the proverbial hamster wheel with a red-hot lateral market beckoning outside their windows.

As the leader of a firm steeped in health care—she notes that Ropes & Gray was at the “eye of the hurricane” helping vaccine manufacturers through the crisis—Jones wants her lawyers to feel their work has purpose, and allow that to bring them together.