Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

The Return of Law Office Breakroom Drama

Now that most lawyers have returned to the office in some form or another, they are having to grapple with thorny questions from pre-pandemic times.

Such as: whose turn is it to clean the break room? Who left the coffee on? What is that thing growing in the fridge?

“Even when people aren’t flagrant slobs, the mathematical reality is that having an entire office sharing one kitchen is going to result in some mess,” writes office etiquette podcaster and advice columnist Alison Green in this Slate article. “When you’ve got a few dozen people (or more) who each leave a few crumbs or a small drip here and there, it adds up.”

Green is the creator of the work advice site Ask a Manager and the author of Ask a Manager: Clueless Colleagues, Lunch-Stealing Bosses, and the Rest of Your Life at Work.

“In theory, the answer should simply be that everyone is responsible for cleaning up after themselves,” writes Green. “In practice, though, there will always be some people who just don’t do it, or whose idea of clean is significantly more haphazard than anyone else’s. It also probably doesn’t make the best business sense for your highly compensated CFO to be assigned to an hour in the kitchen each week, rather than spending that time on skilled work only she can do. And given the realities of hierarchy, is it really practical to tell a senior executive that she can’t leave a mug in the sink when she’s running between meetings with funders?”

Read “The Biggest Source of Office Drama Has Just Returned With a Vengeance,” by Alison Green at

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7 Interior Design Tips for Your Law Office

Here are some law office design tips, courtesy of the architectural design firm Delcoi:

  1. Keep it simple. “One must not conflate minimalist design with plain and sterile design themes. It is entirely possible to keep things simple while having flare with signature pieces.”
  2. Let there be light. The greater the natural light, the higher the office productivity.
  3. Desks are for more than storage. They can complement your interior design.
  4. Décor should reflect and enhance your brand. “Showing personality in your law office has proven to be a great marketing tool, easing your clients into your environment and even allowing them to stay relevant in the space of social media,” according to delcoi.
  5. Add warmth. Do it with floor coverings, lighting, wall art.
  6. Make it inviting. Comfortable seating and good light in common spaces are a must.
  7. Think “flow.” Minimize walls, physical barriers, right angles.

SOURCES: Office drama advice: The kitchen wars are back. Here’s a creative solution. ( and How to design a law office - designing a law office before and after ( How to design a law office - designing a law office before and after (

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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