Managing the back-to-the-office transition is currently front-of-mind for Baker Donelson commercial litigator Bruce McMullen. McMullen, who was recently named managing shareholder of the Am Law 100 firm’s two Memphis, Tennessee, offices, says that he’s spent a lot of time recently thinking about how to strike the right balance between providing employees flexibility in how and where they work while recreating the stop-by-the-office, cross-paths-in-the-hallway firm culture that was the norm before the pandemic.
It’s not the first time that McMullen has been called on to manage an organization in a time of transition. He served a four-year term as the Chief Legal Officer of the City of Memphis that ended at the beginning of 2020, while simultaneously maintaining his practice at the firm. Notably, McMullen helped develop the legal strategy that cleared the path for the removal of Confederate monuments in local parks. The Litigation Daily caught up with McMullen this week to discuss his practice and what he picked up in his position with the city that he hopes will make him a more effective firm manager. The following has been edited for length and clarity.