really big companies, truly They want their lawyer back in the office. While many companies have encouraged their colleagues to spend three days in the office each week, others have done so Assigned Those three days, some have gone so far as to tie bonus eligibility to office attendance. So far, the focus seems to be on forcing employees back into the office, but what about partners?
One of Biglaw’s companies has come up with the right idea, and its managing partner is looking at ways to get the partners to lead the way back to the office.
Bob Bodian of Mintz Levine — the firm that had $617,700,000 in total revenue in 2022, placing it 75th in the most recent Am Law Firm 100 — says office attendance “starts and ends with partners”. And why are partners so important when it comes to getting lawyers back in their offices? “They have to buy into it and see a reason to go in and start coming more,” he said. “It’s definitely a problem.”
as pointed out Bloomberg LawMintz currently has a hybrid “flexible” policy, where attorneys are expected to spend 60% of their time in offices. Bodian isn’t too keen on enforcing an attendance policy right now because a large number of the company’s partners are still working remotely. “It’s not really our style,” he told Bloomberg. “Once you do it, you have to implement it.”
“We have fewer lawyers coming into the office than I’d like to see, or fewer than I’d like to see,” he added. “So, I’m trying to figure out how to change that without making too many rules.”
Bodian was, of course, right when he said that partners should be the first to return to the office. Large-scale companies need to lead by example, and who better than partners to lead by example? If we want mixed work schedules to work really well, partners need a voice.
Perhaps if partners objected to the time lost on their commute, when they could have worked from home instead, that would be important. And if those partners complain about having a set schedule for working days in the office, that will matter too. Stop threatening partner bonuses, and start insisting that partner pay may be at risk. Laughable, isn’t it? Assign partners to come to the office before colleagues a Game changer.
In his wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg — which covered the company’s financial successes (its total revenue is up nearly 5% from 2021), the new Toronto office, and plans for an office in Miami — it all came down to attending the office at the end of the day:
“I try to balance the scale of the place with profitability, culture, and not zoning,” Bodian said.
His approach to coming to the office is a bit of calculus.
“I think about making sure the company is where my partners want to be and where they want to be,” Bodian said. “Don’t make too many rules, but also try to make it more business-like and big enough to continue to be profitable.”
High-volume companies should set some rules for partners when it comes to getting back in the office. Let’s see how that works. Colleagues probably wouldn’t get the end of the stick if the rules for returning to the office were applied equally to everyone, from top to bottom.