Many Midsize Firms Shy Away From Mandating Office Attendance. Others View It As A Recruiting Filter.

July 11, 2023 Pro

Types : In the News

Without the hiring clout of higher-profile and higher-paying Big Law firms, law firms outside the Am Law 200 worry requiring regular office attendance after a protracted period of remote work will disadvantage them in the hiring and retention of legal talent.

  • Many firms are resisting office mandates out of fear of alienating employees and job candidates.
  • Others with stricter requirements believe their policies will help them find candidates who fit their culture.

When hiring pressures soften, firms may not need to make as many concessions to candidates and get stricter about office attendance, said Steve Pachman, managing partner of Philadelphia-based litigation shop Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads.

But rather than mandate, leaders at Montgomery McCracken are trying to “create an environment where people want to be together,” Pachman said.

Pachman said the firm seeks to hold “meaningful events, some formal, some less so, that are focused on team building, fostering an environment where colleagues want to be together.”

“That might be hosting a happy hour, or offering associates unique client-facing opportunities,” he said.