World megafirms and high-powered boutiques get a lot of the consideration round right here as a result of they dominate the authorized panorama with eye-popping income and newsworthy representations. However within the wake of COVID, there’s a palpable shift out there. Attorneys, particularly youthful legal professionals, noticed agency productiveness undergo the roof whereas everybody labored remotely they usually’re questioning why they need to ever return to the commuting rat race. For his or her half, most companies are adopting hybrid work fashions to present attorneys the chance to keep up the pliability loved throughout COVID with out sacrificing the coaching and enterprise improvement advantages of an workplace.
Not everyone seems to be proud of these overtures.
Which is why this article out of Long Island raises an fascinating chance: will COVID spark a renaissance for suburban legislation companies?
Lengthy Island, nevertheless, has been attracting elevated curiosity as remote-work patterns emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve seen a few companies open Lengthy Island places of work due to that,” [law firm consultant Lisa] Smith mentioned. “Companies are extra keen to open an workplace the place [lawyers] stay.”
Again in January we coated Greenberg Traurig’s determination to open a few places of work in Lengthy Island as a part of a work-near-home technique. Newsday notes that Syracuse-based Bond, Schoeneck & King added 23 legal professionals and places of work in Melville and West Palm Seaside by means of a merger. As companies look to hybrid fashions, it supercharges the inducement to seek out an workplace that’s not a two-hour commute away.
However this cuts the opposite means too:
“As quickly because the pandemic hit, there was no want for suburban legal professionals to enter the town,” Rosella mentioned. Among the legislation companies solely required their attorneys to come back to the workplace twice per week, a pretty proposition for Lengthy Islanders.
“Town companies have been now taking legal professionals from the suburbs,” he mentioned. “These companies have been in search of our legal professionals.”
Which is driving these suburban companies to increase their workplace places to maintain hubs close to the place the legal professionals are to fend off Biglaw poaching. It’s an effort bolstered by the rising value of authorized counsel, one thing that would pressure purchasers to increase their roster of legal professionals and develop extra snug sending work to extra moderately priced alternate options.
Nobody’s going to drive Biglaw out of enterprise. Properly, aside from Dewey. However we could be on the cusp of an actual suburban renaissance the place smaller and mid-sized companies have the chance to stretch their legs into new places and make the most of some less-than-gruntled Biglaw legal professionals eyeing a shorter commute.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Regulation and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Be at liberty to electronic mail any ideas, questions, or feedback. Observe him on Twitter should you’re concerned about legislation, politics, and a wholesome dose of school sports activities information. Joe additionally serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.