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Law firms loosen up their approach to socializing

This article discusses the recent trend of law firms moving away from the lavish social gatherings of the 1980s and 1990s, to a more casual approach. Baltimore Vice Office Managing Partner Gary Eidelman points out that although get-togethers are making a comeback, they are much more likely to occur within the firm's offices. Over a year and a half ago, BROCCOLI — The Baltimore Regional Office Committee Committed to Ongoing Lawyer Integration — was born. The firm's Baltimore office hosts an informal get-together for lawyers every Thursday at 5:30 in the eighth floor café, complete with sodas, beer, wine and snacks. "It's a great opportunity for older lawyers to regale younger lawyers with stories of past cases," said Eidelman said. "It's a great internal communication tool. It really does get people talking."

The attorneys enjoy leaving work behind and talking about family and outside interests, said associate Indira K. Sharma. Associate Mark Simanowith also pointed out that it can have a work aspect, giving the attorneys a chance to informally discuss matters in a non-billable way.

Eidelman said events like BROCCOLI Thursday and milestone "roasts" for employee anniversaries are not about saving money, but of being more conscious of what it splurges on. "We recognize what is more important to us is the interaction between everybody than having a gourmet meal," Eidelman said.