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Taking a quick poll… how many of you work for firms that are mandating full return to the office with no option for even partial work from home?

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My firm (Am150) is completely flexible. Took a poll and people were split 50/50 on primarily WFH vs. primarily in the office. We’re actually renovating the office to create more unassigned offices for people to reserve when they’re here (i.e. hoteling), so we don’t waste assigned offices for people who don’t need them. Very happy with the response. Even before COVID, frequent WFH was acceptable.

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AM100 here and also being offered full flexibility. They just ask that people let them know if they’ll be in the office at least once a week, in which case they will assign a permanent office, or if not, then you’ll be given flex work space on days you do come in. Associates I’ve talked to are a little skeptical because some partners clearly have a preference for face time, but firm seems to be encouraging reporting any adverse treatment if one does pick WFH. I’ll personally probably go in 1-2 days a week. Most of the partners I work with are located in other offices anyway, so we don’t have daily direct face time as is and it has never been a problem.

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🙋‍♀️ My firm’s PR messaging/propaganda campaign says we can WFH 2 days a week but the practice group leader in my office wants us in 5 days per week

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None in my office’s practice group, surprisingly.

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Small firm, we’ve been back since June 2020. Partners are constantly working from their vacation homes, but as the only associate, I’m expected to be in the office daily. Leaving soon for a firm that offers more flexibility.

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I was in the same situation—at a small firm where I was the only associate. We went back in person in July 2020, but then went remote in November through January as COVID cases rose again. Not flexible at all with anything, constantly micromanaged and had to ask permission for everything. I left in May of this year for biglaw and it’s the best decision I’ve made—2x the pay and I’m finally treated like an adult. My firm encourages 2-3 days a week in person but no one really cares. My advice to you—run, get another job. Your career growth and sanity are worth it.

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My firm (AMlaw 100) said they’re completely flexible on office time, it’s up to us. In fact, they’re buying us monitors so we can have a home set up to promote flexibility

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Hahahaha hopefully that time doesn’t come. We got a tech budget during the pandemic but I think now the firm is realizing asking people to come in 5 days a week is going to be tough (and pointless) so I think they’re embracing the hybrid work environment

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I feel there is a need to be in the office. Professional development works best when all of those intangibles happen like hallways conversations, lunch or ad-hoc meetings happen because you see someone in the office. All of those things don't happen when you're remote. We all say they can via Zoom but really in practice they don't.

funnylikesmart

Meh, depends. I’ve had jobs where those intangible things are real and valuable, but when leadership at my firm spouts off about them (as they often do, in much the same words) they sound ignorant of what the actual associate experience is like (at best) or disingenuous (at worst). And I know associates at other biglaw factories feel the same.

I’ve started going back but it just feels kind of absurd to put on a costume and ride a train so I can hole myself up in an office to sit all day doing exactly the same thing and talking to exactly the same people as I do on my WFH days.

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My office is still struggling with this decision. One partner wants everyone back in 5days, while other partners think hybrid schedules can work. Honestly, I think the decision is difficult because we need staff in the office every day to ensure that certain admin functions are getting done and this is different for attorneys.

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My firm isn’t mandating return to work full time, though they encourage 2-3 days a week.

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Seems reasonable - I see some benefit from being in the office at least part time

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My firm claims we will have some flexibility to WFH T/Th “on occasion” but when associates inquired into that further it was clear we will at best be able to WFH 1 day a month if we’re not busy. I’ve talked about this with nearly half the associates and we are all planning to look for more flexibility elsewhere

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My firm (mid-sized in NJ) said the possibility that attorneys will be required to return to 5 days a week is non-existent.

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Same mid-size NJ here. They are working on our back to office policy and already informed it will not require 5 days in office!

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We are back in the office with no official work from home policy anymore. Most people are back 5 days a week, but there does seem to be more working from home then pre-pandemic.

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My firm is making everyone go back in full time unless you have prior approval to work from home (very few do). I am one of the lucky ones—moved to another state after marrying my military husband, and the firm let me stay on full time remote.

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Thanks! Thinking of moving out of state so helpful to hear. :)

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My firm (Am Law 50) hasn’t said anything official yet, though they keep scheduling office events we are encouraged to attend. I don’t think it’s really working, though. Most of my team is still remote.

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We went back in June. Of 2020. Full time. I left a month ago for a competitor and one of the partners was out with Corona by the end of the month. I was ok with going back at the time but damn it was dangerous, and they didn’t get vaccinated or stop going out....

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jesus

My firm never went WFH. It was optional. We all stayed in the office.

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Lol so your firm won the battle but lost the war. Love to see it.

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My firm indicated we are “returning to the office” in September. No mention of any flexibility or WHF option. I’m planning to ask for one day a week at home but expecting to be denied.

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My firm (AMLaw 100) is requiring that all staff and associates go back to the office full time starting in September.

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My office sent an email that everyone was expected back in the office on July 6 of this year. A few people can't because they've moved away so they're allowed to work from home but the majority of the office is back in. We also encourage but don't require vaccinations. If you're not vaccinated you have to wear a mask.

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Govt attorney. The govt gave us all laptops, monitors, keyboards, and a computer mouse for WFH. Now im learning we are required to bring those into the office for our desk set up. But only required in the office 2 days a week. Its like they want to make working from home harder to bring us back more often 😂

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Unions ftw, i can see pushback on this policy or at least reimbursement for buying monitors for at home. We shall see 🤞🏼

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V15, been back full time since early June. Some partners work from home occasionally tho

need to know this firm.

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