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Law Firms: Don’t Cross that Holiday Party off Your List

November 23, 2020

If Fridays in a pandemic seemed hard, wait until December hits. All of the regular year-end humdrum with none of the holiday cheer.

The idea of another typical Zoom call is unbearable, and last year’s law firm holiday party wasn’t all that memorable. So, let’s just scrap the idea of a virtual holiday party and be grateful we don’t have to involve HR after the fact again this year, right?

No. Your law firm still needs a holiday party. Here’s why.

Attorneys and staff are completely disconnected from the firm. Associates are interviewing like crazy now that you only have to put on the top half of a suit to make a good impression. With new responsibilities at home and an increased focus on wellness and mental health, the pandemic has shifted what many lawyers value about their jobs. Instead of moving for an extra $10,000, they are moving to find a better culture.

Let’s face it; culture and internal communications have rarely been law firms’ strong suit. Lawyers say their people are their most valuable asset, but they may not have expressed that to colleagues they saw in the elevator or hallway back in February 2020. Now with the pressures of running a business in a pandemic, messages of gratitude are often not at the top of leadership’s list.

That’s why your law firm needs a holiday party.

How nice would it be to see the guy from the mailroom? Or that person who always got coffee at the same time you did? Virtually recreating these moments we once took for granted are an important part of getting back some of the magic you once had in the office.

Here’s all you need to do:

Send everyone a craft cocktail and hire a virtual pub trivia vendor to run the game on Zoom. Make the trivia teams random so attorneys and staff can spend time in breakouts with old and new faces while showing off how much they know about that one weird thing. In small teams, people are less likely to talk over each other, and the quiet guy on the call might just feel comfortable making a joke while on screen with the head of litigation. At the end, give the winning team Grubhub gift cards.

If an interactive game night is not in the cards, ask the managing partner to say a few kind words about everyone’s perseverance, recognize some successes from 2020, virtually raise a glass together and announce a donation to a food pantry or some other favorite charitable organization.

Either way, it will be less work and less expensive than your 2019 party. But more importantly, it will be a meaningful way to close out this unprecedented year.

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