Locked down – but not out
In February, Litigation Associate, Rosie Adcock, attended a roundtable discussion hosted by Eduardo Reyes, of the Law Society Gazette and sponsored by Cisco.
The roundtable discussion was a hybrid event involving nine junior lawyers, trainees and paralegals from UK law firms. The representatives from the firms shared their personal experiences to the outbreak of COVID-19 in March 2020, the emergency arrangements put in place and adjustment to a different style of working. The group shed light on their experiences of working during lockdown such as worries about wifi, the introduction of remote hearings and the challenge of establishing a boundary between work and personal life.
Communication and collaboration were topics discussed with some associates commenting on how impressed they were by their firm’s response to the situation and efforts to check in and support junior employees. The pandemic provided an opportunity to review previous working structures and introduce new initiatives. For example, Rosie Adcock shared news of the staff forum which was established at Boodle Hatfield in May 2021, commenting ‘It’s led by our senior partner’, ‘and it’s got representatives dotted around the firm. Everybody is represented and you can talk to your representative and say if you’ve got any suggestions.’ ‘It’s not meant to be a forum where all you do is complain. It’s more about practical suggestions, which are considered by the management team. That’s definitely worked well. I know suggestions people have made have been taken on board and informed the hybrid policy.’
The hybrid roundtable was concluded by comments from technology provider Cisco highlighting that ‘[Junior lawyers] are the future… the advocates and the voices for change.’
The law firms present at the roundtable discussion were Boodle Hatfield, Boyes Turner, Buckworths, Eversheds Sutherland, Farrer & Co, Lewis Denley, Paris Smith, Spencer West and Switalskis Solicitors. To read more about the roundtable follow the link here to Eduardo Reye’s article on The Law Society Gazette.