Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

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Joachim2017

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Joachim2017 » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:12 am

The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:44 pm
SophieLaw wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:08 pm
Please consider sending a tip to ATL so that other firms will start to feel the pressure to provide certainty to their associates.
Lol, getting their cage rattled by ATL is near the bottom of the list of considerations for firms planning when to phase out of WFH

Yup. It's a shame, too, because ATL could have been somewhat effective. But they squandered the chance. When ATL was more judicious/insightful in its own editorials, it had a little more capacity for influence and accountability. But it's now clearly become a hyper-partisan blog where 2-3 people (I don't know if they were ever actually successful lawyers?) reflexively pontificate with little actual reflection or critical thinking. A few firms will still throw them a bone because younger associates tend to be liberals and be influenced by ATL until they get out into the real world, but it's mostly PR at this point. After Lat left, most of us stopped reading and now occasionally stop by. At least Elie Mystal was entertaining!

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:46 am

Joachim2017 wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:12 am
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:44 pm
SophieLaw wrote:
Mon Jul 20, 2020 6:08 pm
Please consider sending a tip to ATL so that other firms will start to feel the pressure to provide certainty to their associates.
Lol, getting their cage rattled by ATL is near the bottom of the list of considerations for firms planning when to phase out of WFH

Yup. It's a shame, too, because ATL could have been somewhat effective. But they squandered the chance. When ATL was more judicious/insightful in its own editorials, it had a little more capacity for influence and accountability. But it's now clearly become a hyper-partisan blog where 2-3 people (I don't know if they were ever actually successful lawyers?) reflexively pontificate with little actual reflection or critical thinking. A few firms will still throw them a bone because younger associates tend to be liberals and be influenced by ATL until they get out into the real world, but it's mostly PR at this point. After Lat left, most of us stopped reading and now occasionally stop by. At least Elie Mystal was entertaining!
Removing the comment section really ended ATL for me.

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:57 pm

My V50 just announced work from home is extended until January 31, 2021 at the earliest. The messaging from firm leadership is that we have been doing quite well the past few months and that they are re-thinking our real estate strategy.

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2020 2:40 pm

Is that in NYC? My NYC V10 hasn’t said anything yet, but they did say business has been good and workflow better than expected (we still making $$$).

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm

My V20 said today that it's prepping to have people return Jan 2021 and no one will be required to return before then. This from a non-NYC major market, but the firm said it'll apply across all US offices. They said business has been better than expected and productivity hasn't been down since starting WFH.

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:21 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm
My V20 said today that it's prepping to have people return Jan 2021 and no one will be required to return before then. This from a non-NYC major market, but the firm said it'll apply across all US offices. They said business has been better than expected and productivity hasn't been down since starting WFH.
Was on a call last week where the partners were tossing around return dates, some said June and some said January, but January sounds more likely.

Does anyone have any actual insight into partner level discussions about the "new normal" or are we all just associate speculating?

There seem to be three camps imo--(1) boomer partners who are deathly scared of the virus, don't want to come back (2) boomer partners who like working remotely and don't really want to have to come back to the city, (3) senior associates or junior partners who have physically moved to locations that are in a non-commuting distances and (4) partners who like coming into the office and don't trust associates to work remotely and also like having a bunch of associates sniffing their ass in person all day.

Imo, (1) will fall away after a vaccine comes out. But there's a lot of (2) and (3).

There are lots of articles about the "wealthy" not wanting to come back to NYC, not sure how much this overlaps with boomer partners. If they don't come back we won't have to either.

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:17 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:21 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm
My V20 said today that it's prepping to have people return Jan 2021 and no one will be required to return before then. This from a non-NYC major market, but the firm said it'll apply across all US offices. They said business has been better than expected and productivity hasn't been down since starting WFH.
Was on a call last week where the partners were tossing around return dates, some said June and some said January, but January sounds more likely.

Does anyone have any actual insight into partner level discussions about the "new normal" or are we all just associate speculating?
The problem with these discussions (whether among the partners or among associates speculating about the likeliest decision) is that nobody can reliably predict the situation in January. The return to office planning thus far has mainly consisted of picking an arbitrary date far enough into the future to seem like things “should” be okay by then, approaching that date and realizing things are not going to be okay, then shifting attention to another arbitrary future date. First it was Memorial Day, then September, now January. Everyone understandably wants clarity, but in a situation as uncertain as this, nobody (including the partners) can credibly commit to a future plan. So we’re condemned to basically pointless speculation.

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:55 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:17 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:21 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 3:13 pm
My V20 said today that it's prepping to have people return Jan 2021 and no one will be required to return before then. This from a non-NYC major market, but the firm said it'll apply across all US offices. They said business has been better than expected and productivity hasn't been down since starting WFH.
Was on a call last week where the partners were tossing around return dates, some said June and some said January, but January sounds more likely.

Does anyone have any actual insight into partner level discussions about the "new normal" or are we all just associate speculating?
The problem with these discussions (whether among the partners or among associates speculating about the likeliest decision) is that nobody can reliably predict the situation in January. The return to office planning thus far has mainly consisted of picking an arbitrary date far enough into the future to seem like things “should” be okay by then, approaching that date and realizing things are not going to be okay, then shifting attention to another arbitrary future date. First it was Memorial Day, then September, now January. Everyone understandably wants clarity, but in a situation as uncertain as this, nobody (including the partners) can credibly commit to a future plan. So we’re condemned to basically pointless speculation.
I heard that partners at my firm (V100) were basically not expecting anyone to be back in the office until January 2021, but that was a couple of months ago, and more recently I've heard next summer (influenced by Google's decision, obviously). At this point, we haven't even made it into the second phase of our return to the office plan (two months later...), and it doesn't look like we're going to get there any time soon. Honestly, I think if we're out of the office for a YEAR it will be very difficult to get people to come back and sit at their desk for 12 hours a day. Everyone has a long commute, and I doubt folks are suddenly going to want to make their lives measurably worse by going back to the office every single day, and yes, that includes the types of demanding partners who are sneaking back into closed offices. Give them another couple of months living in their lake houses and they may decide that face time is over rated.

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:38 am

PW told us that folks have the option of coming into office starting August 10 but that we should just continue to work remotely if we can given all the in-office restrictions. Internally i don't think any of the partners or associates expect to return to office until sometime 2021

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Re: Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:44 am

At my firm (V10), general expectation is that attorneys won't be returning until next year. Recently, our managing partner has made some comments that seem to suggest attorneys will have the choice to work from home until there is a vaccine.

Last update we got was that our production is slightly under budget but still up compared to last year (probably due more to rate increases as opposed to an actual increase in billable hours).

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