A partner at the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emory has added another case of the danger of the “reply all” button that we have all experienced one time or another. On this occasion, the partner revealed that the firm was cutting back on coffee services in these tough economic times: a move the partner describes as “send[ing] a Message of Desperation.” In the meantime, other major firms are expected to be sending caffeine care packages to their under-caffeinated colleagues at McDermott.
Here is the original message sent on McDermott’s coffeegate:
These are difficult times for our business and legal communities. We, like all law firms, are looking at expenses that can be pared without diminishing the quality of the legal services that we provide to our clients.
Effective immediately, we are suspending our coffee services in the 45th floor lobby. We will, of course, continue to provide coffee and drink carts for client meetings. We will also continue to have the Flavia coffee service available on each of our attorney floors and will provide coffee to our clients in our 44th floor reception area.
We are also suspending, effective immediately, our evening food services. Lou and Walt are working on alternatives and will present those alternatives to you in the very near term..
If you have any questions, please call me.
The partner responded with a message that reach all of the lawyers, including someone who sent it to Above the Law:
George, I know this will save some dollars but they are small dollars. For the small savings I think this is a mistake. To me it sends a message of desperation.
The crisis at McDermott has struck a cord across the major law firm ranks. Like the Tsunami relief, lawyers are now contemplating how they can help others as they stare into their lattes and espressos. Many have contemplated the painful image of McDermott lawyers falling asleep in courts or showing up for spontaneous visits at other firms during coffee hours.
As an infamous coffee addict, I am personally disgusted by the decision of soul-crushing management in cutting off this lifeblood of a legal firm
For my McDermott brothers and sisters, I give you “The Coffee Song” to occupy your thoughts as lawyers speed to your office with beans and brew.
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