Prediction: When will NYC lawyers return to the office?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
cisscum

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:39 pm

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

Post by cisscum » Mon May 18, 2020 2:27 pm

nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:21 pm
cisscum wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:16 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:28 pm
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:31 pm
I heard that some NYC offices are still technically open -- and people have the option of coming in. Is that true?

Also, I wonder if people who choose to come in when offices are open again will have some sort of an advantage over those who choose to stay home, either for convenience, care obligations, or other concerns. Oftentimes biglaw has this performative "working hard" thing that doesn't always reflect who is actually working hard or doing good work, for example. Would people in offices be seen as working harder than those at home?
Social capital is important in all jobs, and it's just harder to build remotely. I don't just mean "face time," but casual conversations with partners in their office after a call, mid-day coffee runs, etc. All the little things that turn a professional relationship into a personal one.

To me the cost of WFH isn't so much "people don't think you're working hard"--if you're sending an email at 3am and billing 250 hour months, your partners know you're grinding. It's more "people don't associate a face/personality with your email signature."
Very true. People are more likely to go to bat for you and treat you well when they think of you as a human being rather than a faceless task robot. Very hard to build deeper human relationships remotely.
The way to solve this is by not allowing anyone to come into the office on regular basis, or designate one or two days a month where everyone comes in for a meeting. That way nobody has an unfair advantage
You and I both know that isn't happening. Besides, big meetings don't exactly comply with the social distancing imperative. Beyond that, any decent business WANTS those interpersonal relationship to form. You work better with people you know on a personal level.
It will if workers collectively demand it as part of their compensation. This is the perfect opportunity.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

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

Post by nealric » Mon May 18, 2020 2:30 pm

cisscum wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:27 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:21 pm
cisscum wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:16 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:28 pm
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:31 pm
I heard that some NYC offices are still technically open -- and people have the option of coming in. Is that true?

Also, I wonder if people who choose to come in when offices are open again will have some sort of an advantage over those who choose to stay home, either for convenience, care obligations, or other concerns. Oftentimes biglaw has this performative "working hard" thing that doesn't always reflect who is actually working hard or doing good work, for example. Would people in offices be seen as working harder than those at home?
Social capital is important in all jobs, and it's just harder to build remotely. I don't just mean "face time," but casual conversations with partners in their office after a call, mid-day coffee runs, etc. All the little things that turn a professional relationship into a personal one.

To me the cost of WFH isn't so much "people don't think you're working hard"--if you're sending an email at 3am and billing 250 hour months, your partners know you're grinding. It's more "people don't associate a face/personality with your email signature."
Very true. People are more likely to go to bat for you and treat you well when they think of you as a human being rather than a faceless task robot. Very hard to build deeper human relationships remotely.
The way to solve this is by not allowing anyone to come into the office on regular basis, or designate one or two days a month where everyone comes in for a meeting. That way nobody has an unfair advantage
You and I both know that isn't happening. Besides, big meetings don't exactly comply with the social distancing imperative. Beyond that, any decent business WANTS those interpersonal relationship to form. You work better with people you know on a personal level.
It will if workers collectively demand it as part of their compensation. This is the perfect opportunity.
They won't. There's no union or other mechanism to coordinate collective demands. Nor would workers agree to an arrangement that prohibits showing up to the office. A lot of folks WANT to come into the office- they have rowdy kids or a small cramped apartment, a bad workspace, or a host of other reasons why they don't want to work at home.

LBJ's Hair

Silver
Posts: 545
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:17 pm

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

Post by LBJ's Hair » Mon May 18, 2020 2:52 pm

cisscum wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:27 pm

It will if workers collectively demand it as part of their compensation. This is the perfect opportunity.
"We're building a more egalitarian workplace by banning friendships." That's a new one.

More seriously though, some people will definitely feel pressure to come back as soon as the offices reopen, for reasons started earlier. And others will come back because they hate WFH. So important to make sure it really IS safe.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 18, 2020 4:40 pm

My office (NYC boutique) just announced that we won't be returning until beginning of September at the earliest.

RaceJudicata

Gold
Posts: 1826
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:51 pm

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

Post by RaceJudicata » Mon May 18, 2020 10:09 pm

Personally, I don’t mind working from home and have been enjoying it - gain hours in day from no commute/getting ready, more time with spouse, etc., but I am definitely looking forward to going back to office.

personally, I think it’s important to be in the office for the personal relationships discussed above. It’s easy to say I could work remotely forever when I already have strong relationships with colleagues, but I couldn’t imagine being a new attorney or a lateral. Working with people you have never met in person or see infrequently would stink — and I imagine, would hurt (1) long term chances of success and (2) overall group culture (which I recognize doesn’t exist everywhere, but I got lucky in work in a pretty cohesive group).

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 21, 2020 1:48 pm

nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:30 pm
cisscum wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:27 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:21 pm
cisscum wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 2:16 pm
nealric wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 1:28 pm
LBJ's Hair wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:51 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Mon May 18, 2020 12:31 pm
I heard that some NYC offices are still technically open -- and people have the option of coming in. Is that true?

Also, I wonder if people who choose to come in when offices are open again will have some sort of an advantage over those who choose to stay home, either for convenience, care obligations, or other concerns. Oftentimes biglaw has this performative "working hard" thing that doesn't always reflect who is actually working hard or doing good work, for example. Would people in offices be seen as working harder than those at home?
Social capital is important in all jobs, and it's just harder to build remotely. I don't just mean "face time," but casual conversations with partners in their office after a call, mid-day coffee runs, etc. All the little things that turn a professional relationship into a personal one.

To me the cost of WFH isn't so much "people don't think you're working hard"--if you're sending an email at 3am and billing 250 hour months, your partners know you're grinding. It's more "people don't associate a face/personality with your email signature."
Very true. People are more likely to go to bat for you and treat you well when they think of you as a human being rather than a faceless task robot. Very hard to build deeper human relationships remotely.
The way to solve this is by not allowing anyone to come into the office on regular basis, or designate one or two days a month where everyone comes in for a meeting. That way nobody has an unfair advantage
You and I both know that isn't happening. Besides, big meetings don't exactly comply with the social distancing imperative. Beyond that, any decent business WANTS those interpersonal relationship to form. You work better with people you know on a personal level.
It will if workers collectively demand it as part of their compensation. This is the perfect opportunity.
They won't. There's no union or other mechanism to coordinate collective demands. Nor would workers agree to an arrangement that prohibits showing up to the office. A lot of folks WANT to come into the office- they have rowdy kids or a small cramped apartment, a bad workspace, or a host of other reasons why they don't want to work at home.
Yeah I get some people like going to the office, but the rest of us shouldn't be forced to go on their account. Also, get a home office.

Facebook is planning to permanently move towards WFH.

https://www.theverge.com/facebook/2020/ ... -interview

Edit: this is cisscum, didn't mean to anon

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Thu May 21, 2020 2:22 pm

At least one lit boutique in the USA with an office in London just had the London office announce they won’t be going back until at least next year.

User avatar
nealric

Moderator
Posts: 3505
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

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

Post by nealric » Thu May 21, 2020 5:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 1:48 pm


Yeah I get some people like going to the office, but the rest of us shouldn't be forced to go on their account. Also, get a home office.

Facebook is planning to permanently move towards WFH.

https://www.theverge.com/facebook/2020/ ... -interview

Edit: this is cisscum, didn't mean to anon
Agreed, and this is the approach many employers are taking. At least for now, coming into the office will be optional.

nixy

Gold
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:58 am

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

Post by nixy » Thu May 21, 2020 5:06 pm

I think everyone agrees no one's going to be forced to go back into the office. It's the idea that somehow no one should be able to, so that people who are willing to go to the office don't get unfair advantage in the facetime sweepstakes, that people were balking at.

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


jarofsoup

Gold
Posts: 2125
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

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

Post by jarofsoup » Fri May 22, 2020 4:55 pm

My firm has not stated a position but basically they said it won’t fully open until there is an effective treatment or vaccine. They have said that when it is opened more remote work is encouraged.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 22, 2020 4:57 pm

Our firm said today that it would be at least a few months -- perhaps many -- before offices reopened.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Fri May 22, 2020 5:01 pm

My NY firm said September.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 9:56 am

I heard unofficially that at least one NYC Big4 office is only allowing 5% of employees to come into the office (I'm assuming that's mail room, security, etc.) and they don't expect to allow 100% back into the office until there is a vaccine. That said, tax associates are WFH through the end of the year.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Tue May 26, 2020 7:25 pm

My firms building is setting out footstep markers on the floors, so someone's going back to the office. And the partners seem upbeat about a full return. But still no timetable.

RPK34

Silver
Posts: 523
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 6:31 pm

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

Post by RPK34 » Tue May 26, 2020 9:30 pm

Even if an office is open, it’s going to be a pain in the ass, especially if you’re in a building with multiple tenants. It will likely be: (1) designated time slots to appear and exit the office, (2) heavily coordinated entry and exits from the office (think people managing elevators and also making sure elevator lines aren’t being formed), (3) one way hallways if they are narrow, (4) 24/7 masks and closed doors, (5) mandatory bring lunch from home (no popping in and out of the office for lunch), (6) daily health reports that are submitted as a condition to entering the building, (7) rotating teams that can use the office, (8) potential shutdowns due to positive tests, etc.

Practically, I think people who NEED to work from the office will. Everyone else who has a decent WFH setup will be better off working from home, even if you prefer the office

cisscum

New
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:39 pm

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

Post by cisscum » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:14 pm

Any dates yet?

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:21 pm

In DC but was told yesterday that it’s very unlikely we return to work as normal before Labor Day. No exact date given, but the tone was “WFH is the new normal so we need to act like it.”

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:37 am

Kirkland is still telling everyone nationwide that June 15 is the day we reopen (subject to local government regs to the contrary) - then again, the date was June 1 until just a few days beforehand when they bumped it again. But bumping it two weeks doesn't suggest that there's a long way yet to go. I'd be very interested in who comes back in - and whether certain partners will be able to coerce people to come back in - as early as late June or July.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:49 pm

Update: my NYC v10 office will "reopen" in September but no mandatory attendance. Given the fears of a second wave, anyone see office attendance as voluntary going into next year?

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:49 pm
Update: my NYC v10 office will "reopen" in September but no mandatory attendance. Given the fears of a second wave, anyone see office attendance as voluntary going into next year?
Yes. At my boutique, there is no expectation that anyone will be in the office for the rest of this year. And it will be voluntary, with very minimal attendance, pretty much until there's a vaccine. And even once there is a vaccine, I think COVID will have altered our industry's work culture, such that I can't imagine ever going back to a 45-minute commute and sitting in my office for 5 days a week.

On that last point, I think the powers at be are usually the ones who live furthest from the office. Partners have families and homes in Westchester, Long Island, CT, NJ, etc. So despite their general boomer-ism, I actually think it's in their interest to do partial WFH on a permanent basis.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:37 am
Kirkland is still telling everyone nationwide that June 15 is the day we reopen (subject to local government regs to the contrary) - then again, the date was June 1 until just a few days beforehand when they bumped it again. But bumping it two weeks doesn't suggest that there's a long way yet to go. I'd be very interested in who comes back in - and whether certain partners will be able to coerce people to come back in - as early as late June or July.
UPDATE: K&E's work-from-home policy was just extended to July 5th.

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


Excellent117

Bronze
Posts: 375
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:44 pm

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

Post by Excellent117 » Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:37 am
Kirkland is still telling everyone nationwide that June 15 is the day we reopen (subject to local government regs to the contrary) - then again, the date was June 1 until just a few days beforehand when they bumped it again. But bumping it two weeks doesn't suggest that there's a long way yet to go. I'd be very interested in who comes back in - and whether certain partners will be able to coerce people to come back in - as early as late June or July.
UPDATE: K&E's work-from-home policy was just extended to July 5th.
Makes sense given that the Fourth of July will definitely cure COVID-19.

Ultramar vistas

Bronze
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:55 am

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

Post by Ultramar vistas » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:30 pm

Excellent117 wrote:
Sat Jun 13, 2020 2:07 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 8:17 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 12:37 am
Kirkland is still telling everyone nationwide that June 15 is the day we reopen (subject to local government regs to the contrary) - then again, the date was June 1 until just a few days beforehand when they bumped it again. But bumping it two weeks doesn't suggest that there's a long way yet to go. I'd be very interested in who comes back in - and whether certain partners will be able to coerce people to come back in - as early as late June or July.
UPDATE: K&E's work-from-home policy was just extended to July 5th.
Makes sense given that the Fourth of July will definitely cure COVID-19.
The end date is just to give staff and attorneys a time frame within which they can guarantee they will not be called upon to be in the office.

Given that the date has been extended 3 times, I don’t think anyone actually expects July 5 to be the winner, it’s just for certainty’s sake. Internally, Labor Day seems to be the target at K&E and most biglaw firms, but wouldn’t surprise me if a second wave hits that they just give up and announce Jan 1 2021.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:46 pm

KL announced office is open to volunteers in July.

Anonymous User
Posts: 351250
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

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

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:05 pm

Skadden is saying their NY office should re-open June 22ish, but that people should work from home as long as they're still productive regardless.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

Now there's a charge.
Just kidding ... it's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”