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Insights: The Remote Legal Department

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BarkerGilmore recently held a webinar on how in-house lawyers can, and should, prepare for their performance reviews in the current, primarily remote work environment. Participants were asked to anonymously respond to a series of polling questions, each one designed to ascertain how law departments across the country are functioning and adjusting during the pandemic. What follows is a brief summary of the insights obtained through these polls.

Current Work Arrangements

The majority of poll respondents (72%) work remotely every day, followed by 20% working some days in-office and some days remote, and 8% who go into the office every day.

current work arrangement

For poll respondents who are working in the office every day, 60% say that their CEO or GC – whichever individual they report to – is working in the office every day as well (compared to 40% remote and 0% a combination of remote and in-office). For respondents working remotely, 65% report that their CEO or GC is also working remotely, compared to 26% a combination of remote and in-office, and 9% in-office full time. For respondents splitting their time remote and in-office, 84% report that their CEO or GC has a similar arrangement, compared to 8% in-office full time and 8% remote full time.

ceogc work arrangement respondents in office ceogc work arrangement respondents remote ceogc work arrangement respondents combination

As anticipated, the work arrangement either voluntarily selected by and/or involuntarily mandated for members of senior management tends to align with the arrangement selected by and/or mandated for members of the legal department. However, the arrangements do, on occasion, differ.

Method of Conducting Meetings

Regardless of whether or not members of the legal department are working in-office full-time, remote full-time, or a combination of the two, meetings are still being conducted via a video call platform (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.) or phone, with the majority being conducted via video.

method of conducting meetings respondents in office method of conducting meetings respondents remote method of conducting meetings respondents combination

Performance Reviews

The majority of poll respondents (76%) indicated that formal performance reviews will still be held this year; however, they will be conducted either via a video call platform or phone. Ten percent (10%) will not have a formal performance review, but they are routinely receiving informal feedback. Six percent (6%) are unsure what the performance review process will look like this year, 5% anticipate no formal review and are not receiving informal feedback, and 3% will have their performance review in-person.

08 performance reviews


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Topics: Legal   |   In-House Counsel   |   Webinar

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