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Law agency expertise chiefs stability attorneys’ ‘better expectations’ after COVID-19

  • Arnold & Porter’s new chief authorized expertise officer surveys the recruiting scene in a busy week for CTO strikes
  • Firms are grappling with generational variations in method to work-life stability

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(Reuters) – Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer kicked off the week by welcoming a brand new chief authorized expertise officer, including to current churn amongst C-suite degree professionals devoted to lawyer recruiting and retention.

Andy Colon is becoming a member of the agency in Washington, D.C., from Thompson Hine, the place he had been chief expertise officer since 2015. Before that, he spent a decade and a half at Dickstein Shapiro, the place the onetime litigation lawyer first switched from regulation to regulation agency expertise administration.

It’s been an energetic few weeks for regulation agency CTO strikes. Earlier this month, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr tapped Robins Kaplan’s chief expertise and variety officer for its personal chief expertise officer function. This week alone, together with Arnold & Porter, Baker McKenzie added Dentons’ Jay Connolly as chief folks officer and DLA Piper promoted Lenora Ausbon-Odom to chief expertise growth and inclusion officer.

Colon spoke with Reuters about his new function, the pandemic’s influence on the lateral hiring market and the way he plans to assist his agency sustain.

The dialog under has been edited for readability and size.

REUTERS: What traits do you see shaping the present authorized recruiting market? What are your prime priorities as a chief expertise officer?

COLON: Certainly there’s a change now because of a pandemic, the place there is a better emphasis on flexibility for attorneys, and companies are attempting to outline what does that imply and what could be the extent of that flexibility. We need to view it within the context of the generational variations that exist between junior attorneys, who’re developing within the follow of regulation and have better expectations of flexibility, and the normal expectations in regulation companies the place flexibility was at all times out there on a extra restricted foundation. So, discovering that excellent stability between the earlier than and the after, it is definitely a problem.

There is a better dialog on two crucial subjects which are occurring proper now within the trade. One has to do with wellness, and it is giving better emphasis to the bodily, psychological and non secular well being of attorneys. It is a dialog that existed earlier than the pandemic, however I consider the pandemic has exacerbated the necessity to give attention to these varieties of points. The different dialog is across the concern of variety, fairness and inclusion. During the final nice recession, the authorized trade skilled a unfavorable influence on vital pipelines for various attorneys, and I believe that there is a collective effort within the trade proper now to make sure that the influence is proscribed.

REUTERS: With the conflict for affiliate expertise at Big Law companies persevering with, what’s going to you do to assist Arnold & Porter compete?

COLON: There are stories on the market that counsel that this new era which are graduating from regulation faculty, they’re searching for significant work, and I believe that our professional bono program gives an incredible alternative for attorneys to do unbelievable significant work for people in our communities. Continuing to assist the agency’s model as a agency with an incredible tradition, and an incredible follow, that might be vital to draw expertise into the agency.

REUTERS: What about retention?

COLON: The trade as an entire is struggling to retain associates for the long run. I believe that there’s a must have distinctive work alternatives and an distinctive coaching program to make sure that they will see the worth and the dedication of the agency.

Read extra:

Another expertise chief swaps companies, leaving Dentons for Baker McKenzie

Saul Ewing’s new chief expertise officer talks distant work, wage wars

Taking care of authorized professionals from the highest with a chief expertise officer

Xiumei Dong

Xiumei Dong covers authorized trade information, with a give attention to regulation agency technique and development, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., authorized market. Reach her at [email protected]

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly