Biglaw firms are heading back to the office as increases in vaccination rates, the supply of multiple vaccines and new vaccine mandates are helping push the pandemic into the rear view mirror. For some attorneys, this move will be a welcome turn of events after an extended period in isolation, pajamas, and endless Zoom calls. For others, who have embraced and excelled in a remote legal work environment, the news may not be as sweet as many have gotten used to a better work-life balance, increased productivity and an absence of micromanagement, bed-checking and face time pressures that plagued their pre-pandemic work lives. Like their in-house counsel counterparts, however, the New Normal may involve more flexibility as some firms are still offering hybrid work environments and remote options that are increasingly prevalent in the in-house counsel world.
“More than 40% of the BigLaw firms that have announced plans to return to their offices are aiming for a Sept. 21 start date, according to a new analysis of data by legal technology company nQ Zebraworks. At least 32 of the more than 70 firms with public plans—including Cozen O’Connor; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Kirkland & Ellis—have chosen the date….The analysis by nQ Zebraworks also shows that at least 68% of the firms that have announced plans to return to their offices are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations….’Firms really want to have time back in the office,….There are competing pressures here. On the one side, people have gotten attached to remote work. But for many firms their culture and long history is tied to being in the office.”
Read: Many BigLaw firms are planning for a Sept. 21 office return, but will it happen? at ABA Journal