“When you get to a certain level of your career, this is a 24-7 ask for people to be constantly available,” Carolyn Vardi said on the most recent Drinks With The Deal podcast. “Our associates are ready, willing and able to step up to that demand.”
But in exchange for those sacrifices, said Vardi, a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP and head of the law firm’s private equity industry group, “They’re interested in being thought partners, thought leaders and being recognized for that contribution right out of the gate.”
The sentiment is not limited to younger lawyers, she said. “What our associates feel, our partners feel, as well. People are looking to contribute to the larger mission and culture of an institution.” Firms must respond to that desire not only by giving lawyers opportunities to learn and develop professionally from the time they start practicing but also by offering them chances to engage in activities meaningful to them, such as volunteering.
Vardi, who moved to Ropes & Gray from White & Case LLP in 2019, also talks about the advantages of a more mobile legal workforce, which, she said, “brings the ability to have more diverse and more innovative ideas. What we’ve learned is that new ideas are there for the taking, and when you have new people come into an institution, it gives you the ability to access a world of ideas.”
Here’s the podcast with Carolyn Vardi: