In the wake of unprecedented social disruption brought on by, among many other things, the #MeToo movement, the pandemic and now the Great Resignation, firms have been racing to espouse their commitment to changing their workplace values and culture for young lawyers. It would have once been unfathomable, but law firm leaders are now speaking in explicit terms about improving their workplace culture, acknowledging there is a problem. A key focus for firm management appears to be improving attorney well-being and mental health and, perhaps, making institutional changes to help attorneys improve work-life boundaries.
One must admit, in an industry known for its grueling hours and unrelenting commitment to client demands, it sounds good. It sounds so good, in fact, that one could be forgiven for wondering if that’s in fact the point. Do law firms intend to walk the walk? If so, there are concrete efforts law firms can take to put their talk into action and improve the workplace culture for young lawyers and employees at all levels within their organization.