MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The "power lunch" could be losing some of its luster within the legal profession, a new Robert Half Legal survey suggests. A majority (56 percent) of lawyers interviewed recently said these lunches are less common than they were three years ago. But breaking bread over business, while less common, still happens somewhat regularly. Respondents reported meeting clients or colleagues for a business lunch twice a month, on average.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 200 lawyers at the largest law firms and corporations in the United States.
Lawyers were asked, "In your opinion, are 'power lunches' more or less common than they were three years ago?" Their responses:
Much more common
Somewhat more common
Somewhat less common
Much less common
Don't know/no answer
Lawyers also were asked, "How often, if at all, do you meet clients or colleagues for a 'power lunch' in a typical month?" The median response was two times.
"In today's fast-paced work environment, lawyers may find making time for a traditional business lunch more challenging and less practical," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "With busier schedules, many legal professionals are limiting networking efforts to email and social media, rather than in-person meetings."
Volkert added that in the tightly knit legal community, maintaining and nurturing professional relationships is important for business development and career growth. "Whether it's over lunch, coffee or another setting, face-to-face meetings offer valuable opportunities to make more meaningful connections and establish rapport," Volkert said.
Robert Half Legal offers the following five tips for holding productive in-person meetings:
- Location, location, location. Choose a restaurant you're familiar with, is easy to find and has a varied menu. Make sure your choice isn't so noisy it's difficult to hear.
- Don't be late. Make every effort to be on time or, ideally, get there early. You can then select a table that's conducive to a business discussion and greet everyone as they come in.
- Cut to the chase. Remember that people have busy schedules and can spend only limited time away from the office. While you want to include personal topics in the conversation, after all the guests have placed their orders, steer the discussion to the business agenda. You want to make sure there's ample time to focus on the purpose of the meeting.
- Turn off electronic devices. Cell phones should be silenced when you enter the restaurant. Aside from being rude, answering calls or checking email during a lunch meeting wastes everyone's time. As the host, devoting full attention to the conversation is your responsibility.
- Mind your manners. Few things are more uncomfortable than dining with someone who is condescending to the wait staff. A courteous and respectful attitude puts everyone at ease and sets a relaxed tone for the meeting.
About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half International. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. Robert Half Legal offers online job search services at www.roberthalflegal.com.
SOURCE Robert Half Legal