June 23, 2017

CBA Magazine: Does Your Law Office Need an Ombuds?

The latest issue of official periodical of the Canadian Bar Association, National, features an article explaining why law firms need an Ombuds. The bottom line: "Having an ombudsperson is a signal to lawyers and staff that conflict resolution is a priority." This is particularly important in hierarchical organizations where individuals are not conflict averse.

Here's an excerpt:
An ombudsperson can provide confidential advice to employees and give them the tools to either resolve the issue themselves or seek out more formal mediation. Through a dispute resolution office, law firms can identify the major issues in the workplace and develop policies to prevent conflict.
“Giving the chance to the staff – even managers – the chance to contact confidentially a third party assigned to the conflict resolution can really foster a culture of conflict resolution and trust,” says Lemay.
“This way leaves the person responsible for the resolutions of the situation they are facing, but it gives them also the possibility to quickly request an intervention of the third party if things seem to go wrong.
In this sense, the intervention can be preventive because you can intervene before the escalation of the conflict.”
(CBA National.)

Related posts: Job Posting: DLA Piper; Kaye Scholer Implements Ombuds Program; Study Concludes Large Law Firms Should Have Ombuds; Altman Weil Endorses Ombuds Programs for Large Law Firms; Ombuds Can Mitigate High Costs of Internal Conflict for Law Firms; Chadbourne & Parke Ombuds Mentors Columbia Law Students; Law Firm of Shipman & Goodwin Appoints First Ombuds.

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