The Law Firm Culture: Values and Views Survey—Five Takeaways

Published: January 18, 2023

Alex Garcia

Alex Garcia Holland & Hart LLP Boulder, Colorado, USA Law Firm Committee

INTA’s Law Firm Committee surveyed all Associate members in October last year as part of their 2022 Law Firm Culture: Values and Views survey. They presented and explored the results during an Idea Exchange at the 2022 Leadership Meeting in Miami, Florida, last November. The survey focused on staff retention, inclusion, and engagement.

Here are the top five takeaways from the Idea Exchange:

  1. Return to Office: Many firms have implemented return to office goals for attorneys. However, these are rarely enforced, in part because of significant movement of attorneys across the United States and general resistance from attorneys to return to the office. Outside of the United States, there appears to be more success in bringing attorneys back to the office.
  2. Office Changes: Many firms are cutting office footprints in favor of implementing shared workspaces and hoteling options. This is in response to the reality that many attorneys and support staff are choosing to continue working remotely.
  3. Support Staff: Legal practice assistants are generally required to come into the office at least two or three times per week. However, the role of the legal practice assistant is changing, with more emphasis on client management and hybrid billable roles. The ratios of attorneys to legal practice assistants are also changing, with legal practice assistants supporting a higher number of attorneys.
  4. Retention Issues: At the time of the 2022 Leadership Meeting, there was still an active discussion about best practices and strategies for the retention of attorneys and staff against the backdrop of a highly active lateral market. However, there is a sense that the lateral market for attorneys may be slowing as firms are reviewing current staffing needs in light of a potentially challenging 2023.
  5. Need for Culture: Firms are struggling with creating and maintaining a strong culture and finding meaningful opportunities to connect. There is also a general sense that certain training functions for junior attorneys are falling behind due to less in-person contact and fewer in-person activities. Firms are trying to find new ways to connect with and train junior attorneys.

Members can access the full results of the 2022 Law Firm Culture: Values and Views survey here.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of this article, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest. 

© 2023 International Trademark Association