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Two steps headquarters lawyers can do to keep field lawyers feeling part of the team

The law department of Starbucks Coffee Company has devised a way to help remote lawyers from feeling out of sight and out of mind. Through a somewhat informal process, lawyers based at headquarters select a “buddy” lawyer in the field. The buddy is a peer, at the same reporting level. The headquarters-based lawyer assumes responsibility for keeping the field lawyer up to date about department developments and provides collegial support. The goal of the buddy arrangement is to help remote lawyers feel more connected with the legal department at headquarters.

This commendable practice appears in the ACC Docket, Vol. 30, June 2008 at 50. The second practice of this law department, which has approximately 50 lawyers worldwide, is to hold a monthly conference call that all the attorneys are invited to join.

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