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Law

How do I tell my law firm I don’t want to return to the office and prefer to work remotely? Will law firms transition to accepting more flexible work policies?

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If you feel strongly about this, when the time comes you say it that way - directly but politely. But you’ll have to accept the possibility that the firm prefers to have you in the office and says no to your request. They you’ll have a choice whether to defer to the firm or find another job. I suspect that many firms will rethink aspects of their operations in light of the pandemic, including some WFH flexibility, more Zoom meetings (and therefore less nonessential travel), etc. but for most firms I think physical offices and an expectation of frequent office workdays will remain the norm.

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We are sort of reopened now. Any staff member who doesn't feel comfortable coming into the office can continue to work from home. As for associates, it's up to the partners they are working for, but unless a partner had a damn good reason for making an associate come in when they didn't feel comfortable, that would be highly looked down upon and probably result in the executive committee having some unkind words with them. But, my firm has always been flexible and kind. None of this is a surprise. Even before the pandemic, associates could work from when it made sense. Stuck doing a huge electronic doc review project and want to do it in your pajamas from bed? Always been free to do so. That kind of thing. Partners themselves can do whatever they'd like, of course. I've told everyone I work with that I don't plan on coming in any time soon, and that I encourage them to continue to work from home.

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