May 15, 2017

Make the Most of Your Relationships with Senior Lawyers

Lauren J. Russell

Several years ago, the powers that be at my approximately 40-attorney firm realized that while some lawyers interacted with one another regularly, others were becoming increasingly siloed, either because of the nature of their practices, the locations of their offices, or, in some instances, by personal choice. To strengthen existing relationships within the firm and build new ones, we launched an initiative called “Coffee Talk,” inspired by the timeless Mike Myers skit on Saturday Night Live. Each month, attorneys are paired at random and encouraged to spend time outside of the office connecting over coffee. By most accounts, Coffee Talk is a success. But as a brand-new lawyer, I remember feeling some trepidation when I received a pairing with a senior attorney I only knew from the occasional mumbled greeting in passing. Before each Coffee Talk, I wondered “What could we possibly have to talk about?”

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