Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 42

ABA DELEGATE'S CORNER
Time to Rethink
How We Work
By Robert N. Weiner
O
n April 26 the ABA published
the results of its
nationwide survey on
how the pandemic has
profoundly - and, in many
respects, permanently - changed
the practice of law. " Practicing
Law in the Pandemic and Moving
Forward: Results and Best Practices
From a Nationwide Survey of the
Legal Profession " drew upon the
responses of more than 4,200
lawyers across the United States.1
The survey shows that changes brought
about by the pandemic have increased stress
among lawyers, particularly women and
lawyers of color, and eroded boundaries
between home and work. At the same time,
they have produced and validated practices
that potentially allow lawyers more flexibility
in managing work-life balance.
Noting that " [p]eriods of major disruption " offer
an opportunity to " rethink paradigms, " the ABA
will marshal the data from this survey to make
recommendations on how individuals and
organizations can thrive in this new reality.
The survey assesses how the pandemic is
affecting lawyers and their firms or organizations
- logistically, economically, and psychologically.
Drawn from a sample reflecting the
diversity of the profession in terms of race, ethnicity,
gender, practice setting, and level of
seniority, among other attributes, the survey
shows that since the pandemic, more than
half the lawyers (54 percent) work from home
exclusively. About 25 percent work from home
42 WASHINGTON LAWYER * JULY/AUGUST 2021
from one-quarter to three-quarters of the time,
and 22 percent do so rarely or never. Ninety
percent of the respondents spend more time
on conference calls or video than before. More
than half (55 percent), however, devote less
time to developing business or reaching out to
clients. And business development by lawyers
with younger children has dropped even
further.
For many lawyers, though not a majority, involuntarily
working from home has left them
feeling disengaged from the office, overwhelmed
by all they have to do, unable to
separate work and home life, and stressed
about work. For women and attorneys of color,
sizeable majorities have these feelings.
The report recommends that in this crisis,
law firms, organizations, and departments seize
the opportunity to " pause and rethink [their]
structure, policies and practices. " Among other
things, it recommends that they commit to
diversity, equity, and inclusion; have frequent,
transparent, and empathetic communications
with employees; align their compensation
system with their values;
consider how downsizing
office space will affect
organizational culture;
strengthen wellness
and mental health
programs; and pro -
vide greater parental
resources and support.
Addressing individual
lawyers, the report
urges them to set realistic
expectations for
themselves and others;
negotiate boundaries
at work and home; stay
visible with clients,
partners, other lawyers
in the organization,
and the legal community; be proactive about
their career; take care of themselves; and volunteer
for pro bono work.
The 65-page report lays out the results of the
survey more thoroughly than is possible here
and explains the recommendations in helpful
detail. It is one more way the ABA is arming
individual lawyers and the profession as a
whole to confront the challenges of the rapidly
changing legal environment. To reap the full
benefits of the ABA's efforts and to take part in
them, join today.
Robert N. Weiner is senior counsel at Arnold &
Porter, senior legal consultant at the Campaign
Legal Center, and head of D.C.'s delegation in the
ABA House of Delegates.
NOTE
1 Available at americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/
administrative/digital-engagement/practiceforward/practice-forward-survey.pdf.
JEST
IS FOR ALL
https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/digital-engagement/practice-forward/practice-forward-survey.pdf https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/digital-engagement/practice-forward/practice-forward-survey.pdf https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/digital-engagement/practice-forward/practice-forward-survey.pdf

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
Washington Lawyer - July/August 2021 - 32
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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