Is it an oxymoron to say law firm and sense of humor in the same sentence? Apparently not. Creating a fun atmosphere attracts employees.
Back in the day when I managed firms hands-on, I tried to introduce humor into the workplace whenever possible. My colleagues at other firms did not approve. They thought everything about law firm life should be serious, dignified, and . . . yawn . . . never fun. I never had a problem encouraging some of their top employees to make a leap to the environment I worked so hard to craft.
This week’s edition of ABA Journal Law News Now headlined a story entitled “Fake Summer Associate Hired in Prank by Law Firm”. Of course, I had to look at the article and accompanying video. Hilarious! And a great recruiting tool, too! You can be sure that associates across the country who are looking for a great work environment where they can have fun and do challenging work as well, will be hankering for a chance to join their team.
Jay Edelson is the founder and managing partner of Edelson LLC, as well as the instigator of this great prank. KUDOS, Jay. Your firm’s web site says your firm is different from other firms in most aspects, and clearly that is true. You’ve figured out that hard work and a fun work environment are not mutually exclusive. And in fact, when you actually allow and even encourage people to enjoy themselves while working, you will always get greater dedication and a superior work product. If you can introduce fun into the learning process, it will enhance the process considerably.
There’s much to be learned from this simple prank. Read Edelson’s blog post from Oct 15, 2009 in ABA’s Legal Rebels, in which he describes his training / mentoring philosophy. Take it to heart. He knows whereof he speaks.