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More muscle on law firms to alter their policies and practices, this time flextime

As reported in Corp. Counsel, Oct. 2010 at 15, Wal-Mart has started to track its law firms “to make sure that the promotions and pay of flex-time lawyers are proportional to those who work full-time.” The retail giant also requires its firms to propose as candidates for the position of relationship partner someone who is working flex-time. The Wal-Mart legal department has taken to heart the research and findings of the Project for Attorney Retention so it has imposed these requirements and is embracing its own flex-time workers.

The article mentions that eleven other legal departments have joined a PAR program called the Diversity and Flexibility Connection. As an example, at Allstate, 21 lawyers were working remotely from home one or more days of the week as far back as May 2009.

Admirable as flex-time is, I find myself wondering how far law departments can intervene in the operations of their law firms. Of course, the firms can decline to represent any client that over-reaches (See my post of Aug. 4, 2008: interventions with three posts and 40 references.).