It’s nice to see a firm maintaining its commitment to diversity despite tough economic times. Changing the culture of Biglaw is a hard thing to do, but it starts at the top.
It looks like the partners at McGuireWoods understand that. But a McGuireWoods tipster reports that you can’t just force terrified and busy associates to embrace every diversity initiative the firm has to offer:
I am an associate at McGuire Woods and we got this email this morning from the managing partner of the Chicago office and a lot of us are disgusted. He sent it to all attorneys in the Chicago office.
Is this really the way to get us interested in diversity? Maybe they should question their commitment to associates in this time of financial distress. This was an optional event where they sent an invitation once to remind us of its occurrence.
A managing partner calling out his office for a lack of commitment to diversity? That is just not something you see everyday.
Let’s take a look a the pro-diversity email that angered a bunch of Chicago associates, after the jump.
Sources report that this email was sent by McGuire Woods partner Craig R. Culbertson, the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office:
The program [redacted] presented yesterday was outstanding. The unfortunate part is not nearly enough of you were there. This is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE. Diversity is an extremely important issue and you all need to understand what the Firm is doing to increase diversity and utilize it in the marketplace. Each of you that did not attend should take a very hard, personal look at your reason for not reserving the one single hour of your time necessary to attend for this, and frankly, your commitment to the Firm. I understand that “the client comes first,” but we all generally have enough flexibility in our schedules to make time for these presentations which various MW attorneys have spent substantial time preparing for your benefit.
Bottom line, in this case I am disappointed in the performance of our office.
CHECK YOU SCHEDULES, folks.
Alright, let’s do a quick recap. Quinn Emanuel wants associates on their BlackBerries all of the time. K&L Gates wants committed associates to keep their germs to themselves. Now McGuire Woods wants, in effect, mandatory attendance at optional meetings.
And all of these directives have been communicated via aggressive, office- or firm-wide emails.
I know we talk a lot about how stressed out associates are, but is it possible that partners are also getting a little frazzled around the edges?
At least Biglaw associates know the deal. They need to be everywhere, all of the time, unless they are a walking biological attack.
And if you can’t do all that, I don’t want to even see your performance review.
Earlier: Quinn Emanuel Believes in ‘C.B.A.’ (Check BlackBerry Always)
Peter Kalis Wants K&L Gates Associates To Show Common Sense