Legal Law

Biglaw Agency Reminds Attorneys They Want To Reply To Purchasers Even Although There’s A Pandemic

Lots of things in Biglaw have changed as a result of COVID-19. Offices are closing until 2021, partners and associates are sharing offices, salaries are being slashed, partners are getting forced out of firms — it’s a different world out there. But one thing that has remained constant is that it’s a demanding job.

Part of what makes Biglaw so stressful are the demands that clients make of their attorneys. And though there’s a lot that firms can/should do to improve their work environment, the needs of clients aren’t really something they can change; it’s just sort of a given.

And the management committee at Fisher Phillips wants everyone to know it.

According to sources at the firm, an email from leadership went out with an ominous subject line, A WAKE-UP CALL, last week. The timing was… not great, as a tipster notes:

(T)he management committee sent this today right at the beginning of the school year, middle of a pandemic, and right after a hurricane which directly impacts several firm offices.

It’s true there’s a lot that folks are dealing with right now, and the messaging from the firm tries to be be cognizant of that. But it also seems like several balls were dropped across the firm:

This week I have heard several reports of client relationships at risk because some Fisher Phillips lawyer failed to return emails of phone calls after several client attempts. I am hesitant to be too harsh about this given the extraordinary challenges everyone is facing. On the other hand, I cannot overstate how much our firm’s brand and ability to have desirable clients and work depends on our hard-earned reputation as the super-responsive, client-focused law firm.

The email goes on to ask all attorneys to be “scrupulously attentive and responsive external and internal client communications” and to “rededicate” themselves to the Fisher Phillips brand. It’s a hard message to hear amid a pandemic, but better to get it from firm management before clients start leaving.

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).

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