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As the Dust Settles: Three Leaders Weigh In on the Future of Law Firm Work Models

May 24, 2023

The remote work wave may have been in its infancy at the start of the pandemic, but are hybrid policies and smaller offices here to stay? BRG’s Rodolfo (Rudy) Pittaluga asked C-suite veterans from AmLaw 100 firms what they see as the future of legal work.

The road back from the “unprecedented disruptions” brought on by the pandemic continues to pose challenges for law firm leaders—and with more uncertainty ahead, it is important to remember the lessons learned.

In 2022, “law firms began to emerge from the worst of the pandemic and moved toward some semblance of normalcy,” but today’s economic uncertainty means more disruption is still to come. In fact, according to Reuter’s 2023 Report on the State of the Legal Market, profits-per-equity-partner are down for the first time since 2009, in the wake of the Great Recession.

Having worked with several AmLaw 100 firms in my career, I’ve had a front row seat to these shifts. But for more insight into evolving working models and shifting client expectations, I turned to three experienced leaders of AmLaw 100 law firms: Wally Martinez, a managing partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth; Yvette Ostolaza, chair of Sidley Austin’s Management Committee and an Executive Committee member; and Miguel A. Zaldivar Jr., chief executive officer at Hogan Lovells.

This is the first in a series of two Q&As about the future law firm. The next article, Three Leaders Weigh In on the Battle for Legal Talent and the State of DEI, discusses another critical issue facing today’s leaders: legal talent and the growing importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

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