The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every facet of our lives, from how we work to the ways we play. As a result, numerous law firms nationwide have chosen to ask their teams to work remotely.

While a virtual law firm can boost the health and wellness of your team, it can be tough to keep your associates actively engaged. Employee engagement is essential for workplace morale and feelings of connection companywide. 

Despite the challenges, law firms can efficiently foster employee engagement by thinking outside of the box. Here are seven unique ways you can engage your virtual legal professionals.

Let’s get started! 

1. Host Weekly Digital Caselaw Roundtables

When many young trial lawyers were first starting out, they were asked to present crucial new case developments to the entire firm at weekly in-person meetings. Seasoned attorneys can take some inspiration from these nerve-wracking presentations and host their own weekly virtual caselaw roundtables. Every associate, from paralegals to veteran lawyers, can participate. 

2. Virtual Happy Hours 

One of the biggest pitfalls of having an entirely virtual law office is a lack of in-person social events. After a long, grueling day in the office, what better way is there to unwind than to let loose over a couple of drinks with your colleagues? 

Consider hosting a virtual office happy hour every month. Employees can attend a Zoom call at 5pm, enjoy their favorite adult beverage, and chat with their coworkers. This strengthens both professional and personal bonds. 

3. Virtual Mentoring

Novice attorneys who are now entering the workforce face the difficult task of learning the ropes when they’re working remotely. One of the most valuable aspects of working in a law firm is the ability for young attorneys to glean critical insight from older, more experienced law professionals. Having a virtual mentoring program is a great way for your team to bond while teaching fresh-faced lawyers essential legal tactics.

4. Fun Team-Building Games

There is no rule stating that Zoom meetings can’t be fun! A great way to encourage employee collaboration and connection is to host monthly team-building games and exercises. Lighten things up by having your staff ask each other fun questions, play a trivia contest, share their favorite recipes, or have other enjoyable discussions. 

5. Zoom Mock Trials

The global pandemic has not put an end to trials. In many places, trials are now being conducted virtually. Because of this, it’s a smart idea to have your employees practice giving virtual trial presentations. Even if there aren’t any cases lined up in the near future, practice always makes perfect. To throw some fun into the mix, host a mock trial competition between team members.

6. Client Meet-and-Greets

Not being able to interact with your favorite clients in person can negatively impact the strong relationships you have with them. A virtual client meet-and-greet is a great opportunity to catch up with your firm’s long-term clients. Just remember that these interactions should remain professional. Just because it’s a virtual meeting doesn’t mean you can show up in your pajamas. 

7. Give Plenty of Praise

We live in unprecedented times. Many of us are still learning how to comfortably work from home. Because of the unique challenges of working remotely, it’s more important now than ever to give your team plenty of praise, whether big or small.

The Bottom Line

To promote employee satisfaction, it’s important to engage your remote employees. By hosting virtual mock trials, enjoying monthly happy hours together, and offering plenty of praise, your law firm professionals can deepen their bonds even while working apart.

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