Paul Schmidt, Ernessa McKie Discuss Pandemic-Inspired Changes to Legal Industry Culture

News / August 6, 2021

Chairman Paul Schmidt and Associate Ernessa McKie are quoted in an article published on August 6, 2021, in The Wall Street Journal, regarding the changing face of the legal industry’s work lifestyle. The article, “COVID-19 Threatens to Blow Up Law Firms’ Intense Office Culture – for Good,” explores the evolving expectations of how and where attorneys can work, the pros and cons of that change and what firms are doing to accommodate the new landscape.

McKie expressed to the publication an interest in splitting her work time between the office and home. That desire has become the norm: The article reports that, according to a Thomson Reuters survey, fewer than 10% of lawyers want to resume working regular in-office hours five days a week. Schmidt – who noted that the firm is still evaluating its return-to-office plans – said that when lawyers work remotely, the challenge is not in determining who’s being productive, but rather identifying issues such as when an associate is struggling and needs help.

Read the article.