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This week I am participating in my first "Annual House Counsel Meeting" with my new company. I get to fly to lovely Columbus, Ohio and meet the lawyers from eight other law firms around the country that make up the house counsel for our insurance company.

Retreat or Not to Retreat

This week I am participating in my first "Annual House Counsel Meeting" with my new company. I get to fly to lovely Columbus, Ohio and meet the lawyers from eight other law firms around the country that make up the house counsel for our insurance company.

About Heather Diersen

4 comments

  1. I think that retreats have been an unfortunate victim of the economy at some firms — either by being scaled back, or by being dispensed with altogether. I think that’s unfortunate since these things encourage out-of-the-box thinking (something a lot of firms desperately need right now), allow co-workers to bond (important to corporate culture becreating an esprit de corps) and help establish a corporate identity (particularly important at larger firms where folks don’t all know each other. When you think back on a place you worked, do you recall the hours of brief-writing or the one fun retreat?

    I do love the name of that one course you mention from your retreat, “Selling Kumquats in a Banana Market.” Sounds pretty appealing.

  2. This is an interesting topic. My firm’s retreat was full of expensive meals, golf outings, and spa treatments. While I enjoyed getting to know my coworkers, the money would be better spent giving me an increase in my salary.

  3. Chris: word to that. My last employer had an annual retreat at a swank resort, and it was a fun way to get a bunch of CLE credits and all that. But I sooooo would’ve preferred a raise.

  4. Our firm “retreat” was the result of a well-meaning client who thought our representation was so fine that it deserved a just dessert (spelling intended). She provided some cash for our small firm to have a picnic on a sunny summer day. Leaving client calls and the Northwest Reporters behind, we laughed and enjoyed some fried chicken, potato salad, and of course a cupcake or two. Attorneys and support staff bonded over a meal and though no substantive issues were discussed, we moved closer together. As a result, we are working more efficiently and happily together.

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