The discontinuing of free coffee and the suspension of evening foodservices at the Chicago law firm of McDermott Will & Emery has become a hot topic within legal circles in the city after the news was leaked to the legal gossip blog Above the Law, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.
The original e-mailed memo from Quentin "George" Heisler, head of McDermott's Chicago office, as well as a response from one of the partners, were both leaked to the legal blog, where they were posted and quickly became a topic for discussion of the wisdom, cost-effectiveness and symbolism of the move.
Heisler’s memo announced suspension of the free coffee in the firm’s 45th-floor lobby and its evening food services. Instead, single-serve coffee machines would be available on each attorney floor. In a subsequent interview, Heisler characterized the move as symbolic and made in conjunction with other budget cuts. McDermott had recently laid off 60 associates and 89 staff members across the firm and canceled its upcoming black-tie 75th anniversary celebration, to have been held at the Field Museum in Chicago.