The following is an excerpt from Gene Commander’s article in the April issue of Colorado Lawyer highlighting the hybrid work phenomenon sweeping U.S. workplaces, its impact on law firms in Colorado and how hybrid work strategies can help firms position themselves for success in attracting, developing and retaining the next generation of attorneys. The article can be read in full here.

A trifecta of demographic, economic, and professional trends is engulfing law firms in Colorado and across the nation. As I’ve recently outlined in these pages,1 shrinking college and law school enrollment, the exit of baby boomers from the profession, a price war for talent, and high attrition rates—especially among women and people of color—are among the forces that are contracting the talent pipeline. Meanwhile, the face of the profession is steadily shifting as women and people from other diverse backgrounds make up an increasing proportion of lawyers.2 Law firms are finding that the playbook they’ve relied on for decades isn’t solving the talent conundrum, and innovative solutions are desperately needed.

Against this backdrop, the phenomenon of hybrid and remote work has emerged.3 The pandemic propelled an already-growing movement toward working from home. As of fall 2023, Americans worked from home about 25% of the time, while office occupancy rates across the United States had fallen to roughly half their pre-pandemic levels.4