We’re a couple of month into the second quarter of the yr, the COVID-19 public well being emergency has formally ended, and Biglaw companies would actually, actually prefer it if their associates would return to the workplace.
We’ve lately realized that one other elite Biglaw agency, Morgan Lewis — a agency that introduced in $2,745,251,000 gross income in 2022, placing it in eighth place in the latest Am Regulation 100 — has determined to require its attorneys to bodily attend the workplace on three set workplace days every week, after initially requiring just one or two workplace days per week.
Method again in 2017, the agency launched an “progressive” program that might enable associates to work one or two days remotely every week, so the agency was ready for the pandemic earlier than it even began. Now, within the wake of COVID-19, it’s being mandated that associates return to the workplace. This course of began a couple of yr in the past. For instance, sources inform us that in November 2022, the agency introduced that it could require attorneys in sure apply teams (at the very least in New York) to return to the workplace each Tuesday and Wednesday on a compulsory foundation.
J. Gordon Cooney Jr., chief of the agency’s litigation apply group, despatched out a memo to all U.S. litigation attorneys (accessible on the following web page) setting out the brand new marching orders, noting that different apply teams and places of work have already introduced related scheduling modifications:
[S]tarting June 1, the LPG might be shifting to having the expectation that each one of our attorneys (together with companions) might be within the workplace each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. … You must preserve the colleagues with whom you had been working knowledgeable of your schedule. We imagine that this new schedule is not going to solely present our summer season associates with a extra significant summer season expertise, however can even present all of us with additional alternatives to create the connections and construct the relationships which might be key to long-term success within the regulation.
A supply says that the agency initially “promised flexibility,” and appears upset that Morgan Lewis is now requiring that attorneys “modify their schedules” to fulfill the calls for of working from the workplace.
Now that this pattern has taken off, will different Biglaw companies comply with? In case your agency is requiring you to return into the workplace three (or extra) days every week, please tell us. You’ll be able to electronic mail us or textual content us (646-820-8477).
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Regulation, the place she’s labored since 2011. She’d love to listen to from you, so please be at liberty to electronic mail her with any suggestions, questions, feedback, or critiques. You’ll be able to comply with her on Twitter or join along with her on LinkedIn.