Isolation Takes a Psychological Toll on Young Lawyers
April 28, 2020
Firms in the UK are hosting virtual hang-outs including Friday night videocon drinks as a way of retaining a sense of team bonding, and offering courses in meditation online, measures they hope will counter the problems remote working causes, especially for young lawyers. Junior lawyers are used to working closely within a team, often under high-pressure, conditions that can be difficult to replicate in a virtual world. Fourteen percent of associates surveyed cited isolation and lack of personal interaction as the main challenge of working from home, compared to just six percent of equity partners. Some firms have devised systems to mirror human interaction. Linklaters’ corporate team has set up a “virtual coffee room” that remains open 24 hours a day. Mayer Brown had an infrastructure in place for employees to work from home before the pandemic. It was quickly ramped up to encourage one-to-one virtual coffees particularly with new starters and trainees. The firm also set up response teams to act as central coordinators for client communications.
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