Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 16

FEATURE
" We listened when
people said that they
needed time, and we
accommodated it to
the best of our ability. "
LEANDER DOLPHIN
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
" We needed to adapt . . . We listened when people said that they needed
time, and we accommodated it to the best of our ability. What has
stayed the same is you do the work when you are able to, even if that
is when everyone else is sleeping! "
In furtherance of Shipman's compassionate workplace solutions, the firm
offered its new associates more virtual opportunities to connect. From
mentorship drop-ins to regular all-firm town halls, the firm created a
system to maintain connections without causing Zoom fatigue.
" Many of us are looking forward to being together again. But there is no
one-size-fits-all here, " says Ruggeri. " Everyone is talking about how we
return to the office, if we can return in the coming weeks, and what that
means. "
Until it is deemed safe for staff to return to the office, online meetings
with plenty of rest in between is the order of the day at Shipman,
Ruggeri says.
In Bethesda, Maryland, immigration firm Trow & Rahal, P.C. is taking
a similar tack. Instead of issuing a direct mandate requiring everyone to
return to the office on a certain date, the firm is developing a compassionate
approach by creating an employee-led survey to determine
who would like to return to the office, when to reopen doors, and what
reentry might look like.
" Hopefully, we can encourage and educate everyone to go out and get
vaccinated and look at some form of coming back after Labor Day. But
I think it will be some sort of hybrid model, " says Linda Rahal, managing
shareholder of the firm.
Specializing in business immigration solutions, Rahal's practice mostly
deals with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and other government
agencies that frequently require hard copies of documents. As
a result, some staff members had to go into the office one or two days
a week during the pandemic, and the law firm ensured that health and
safety protocols were in place.
" We have a limit of no more than six people in the office, and we try
to have one-way traffic. Now people come in and shut their doors,
whereas we used to leave our doors open. Masks are required in all of
the common places, " Rahal says.
16 WASHINGTON LAWYER * JULY/AUGUST 2021
For many, including those who will be directly affected by workplace
policy changes, this is the hallmark of a compassionate workplace. " We
now know that people can be productive from home, " Rahal says. " We
have all the tools in place now, including Zoom, Teams, and access to our
network remotely. Working from home is not as daunting or unacceptable
as it used to be. "
Another piece of this complex conversation is the pandemic's toll on
people's mental health. According to a survey conducted by the World
Health Organization in October 2020, demand for mental health services
has increased due to the multi-layered effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
" Bereavement, isolation, loss of income, and fear are triggering mental
health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people are facing
increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety, " the survey
states.
To tackle the overwhelming emotional fatigue that some may feel,
Rahal has pushed to keep attorneys and support staff engaged virtually.
Her firm created a social committee and sponsored several online
events, such as a virtual lunch made possible by Door Dash gift certificates,
as a way to foster much-needed camaraderie and support
as weeks turned into months of self-isolation. In fact, Rahal had an
employee who was so overwhelmed that he thought about quitting,
but the firm encouraged him to take two months off to rest and regroup.
The employee returned.
" During COVID we had to be a more empathetic law firm, and instead of
saying, 'You need to get your work done,' we say, 'Things aren't getting
done, what's going on, and is there something we can help you with?'
People are human, and this has affected everyone in different ways, "
Rahal says.
WORKPLACE MINDFULNESS
The American Bar Association, in its 2017 report " The Path to Lawyer
Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, " touted the
benefits of mindfulness as a way to " reduce rumination, stress, depression,
and anxiety " and to " enhance a host of competencies related to
lawyer effectiveness, including increased focus and concentration,
working memory, critical cognitive skills, reduced burnout, and ethical
and rational decision-making. "
" We have all the tools
in place now ...
Working from home
is not as daunting or
unacceptable as it
used to be. "
LINDA RAHAL
Trow & Rahal, P.C.
Patrice Gilbert Photography
Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Election Coverage
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
A Conversation with Chad Sarchio feature
Ready for Reentry feature
LSC's Ron Flagg feature
Leadership Academy feature
DC Bar Annual Report
DC Bar Budget
Taking the Stand
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
ABA Delegate's Corner
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Speaking of Ethics
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Election Coverage
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - A Conversation with Chad Sarchio feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 12
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Ready for Reentry feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 16
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - LSC's Ron Flagg feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 20
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Leadership Academy feature
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 24
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - DC Bar Annual Report
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 26
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 28
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 30
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 31
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Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 33
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 34
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 35
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 36
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - DC Bar Budget
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 39
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - ABA Delegate's Corner
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 43
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 45
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 52
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 53
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 55
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - Cover4
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