According to the Daily Business Review, leaders at large and midsize firms are concerned about the impact of remote work on firm culture and associate mentoring. Law firm leaders seem to think that their culture, and ultimately their success, will be lost with a partially or fully remote workforce and are encouraging their lawyers to return to their offices as safely as possible.
Bowman Brown, Chairman of Shutts & Bowen’s Executive Committee and Co-Chair Financial Services practice group, believes it’s harder for attorneys to collaborate over the phone than it is for them to walk down the hall and ask someone a question.
“It’s harder to access people when they’re not in the office; it does have an impact on collaboration,” he said. He would like to see as many people come back to the office as possible after the pandemic, but stated he expects some people will work from home at least partially.
While the pandemic is affecting working relationships of attorneys who already have a sense of life and work at a firm, Bowman also stated he is worried about the ability to mentor associates remotely.
“If an objective of an associate is to find an environment where they can be mentored, I think they’re better served being in the office than expecting a call at home for an assignment or project. It’s easier for an associate to walk into a partner’s office and discuss the problem. There’s more reticence to call a partner up at home and say, ‘let’s chat about this.’”
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About Bowman Brown
Bowman Brown is the Chairman of the Shutts & Bowen Executive Committee and Co-Chair of the Financial Services Industry practice group. His practice focuses on the financial services industry and insurance regulatory matters. Bowman has served as Chairman of The Florida Bank Banking Law & Credit Regulation Committee and as General Counsel and member of the Executive Committee of the Florida International Bankers Association, Inc. Bowman has served two three-year terms as a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Banking Law Committee and as a Trustee of the Pan American Development Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based affiliate of the Organization of the American States.