With Phila. Firms ‘Stuck in a Rut’ on Office Attendance, Cozen Earns Plaudits for Fresh Approach [The Legal Intelligencer Quotes Gina Rubel]
As midsize firms balance their desire for attorneys to return to the office with attorneys’ desires for flexible work policies, they are utilizing a variety of tactics to avoid attrition in a tight labor market. For example, Cozen O’Connor’s updated return to office policy encourages partners to give work to those attorneys who come into the office. Furia Rubel CEO & General Counsel Gina Rubel weighs in on the impact policies like this can have on law firms and their employees.
Rubel notes that Cozen O’Connor’s policy will likely attract and retain attorneys who are comfortable with returning to the office, adding that return-to-office policy “is as much about client service as it is about firm culture and employee needs.”
She encourages firms to consider a variety of factors when developing a return-to-office policy, noting that requiring in-office work “increases the cost of parking, increases potentially dry cleaning costs if your office is not casual, other costs go up. Everything else goes up exponentially. … It may increase the tax liability of an individual [in Philadelphia] depending on how payroll is set up. … There’s just so many liabilities that are increased.”
Rubel recommends weighing the costs of a full return to the office against the benefits. “The people who want to go in the office are the ones who will,” she said. “But if you are going to pat them on the back and give them more money and opportunities, you’re inevitably going to be hurting the people who have other life challenges, whatever they are.”
The article quotes several legal industry experts, such as Brian Levinson, founder and principal at Allevistar Legal Search, Dilworth chairman Lawrence McMichael, and other law firm leaders.
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