Biglaw: WFH/face-time

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asc335

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Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by asc335 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:37 pm

Pre-COVID, which biglaw firms let associates work from home 1-2 days a week? I've heard Cooley and Paul Hastings but would appreciate confirmation and/or other firms. Thanks!

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:05 pm

Anon at NYC BigLaw -- query how much formal policies matter. My friend at a firm with an explicit WFH policy couldn't ever use it because he worked with two partners who really cared about facetime; my firm has no policy whatsoever but my partners are totally fine with it if you're a competent midlevel and generally responsive.

Definitely Not North

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by Definitely Not North » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:48 pm

Yeah this is 100% dependent on the partners your work for.

Whatislaw

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by Whatislaw » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:26 am

Totally depends on the Partner you work for. I work for Partners who don't care at all and I probably show up at the office (pre-covid) two times a week (maybe three) on a week where I spend "more time" in the office. It also will depend on your work relationship and the trust your Partners have in you to get your work done.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:53 am

In addition to what's already been said (it's partner-specific), you generally need to be consistently in the office for at least your first year while you get a feel for things and start to pick up work. People who have met you are much more likely to think of you for new matters, and they can't meet you if you're never around.

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objctnyrhnr

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by objctnyrhnr » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:22 am

I worked at a busy but relatively small group of a large firm at a medium sized office. Nobody ever expressly discussed it but it was always very clear that everybody expected everybody to be there in person each and every day unless there was a good reason not to be. This went for partners, associates of all levels, etc. Partners would assign work by literally just dropping by associates’ offices. Sometimes those types of conversations were also the forums in which the key strategic discussions occurred.

I am very curious to see where things are at in a year. Will it revert back to this, or will we fully embrace flexibility with WFH? I think it ultimately depends where the more senior partners land.

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:24 am

Morgan Lewis has a remote work policy for 1-2 days per week if you're at least a 3rd year and have been with the firm at least 2 years. I think that's a pretty good policy because it helps with juniors and laterals having more time to integrate and meet people through face-to-face interactions.

In practice, the policy really doesn't matter if you're an associate and work for partners who like facetime. I've seen senior partners get upset with junior partners because they were working remote on a Friday (but still answering emails and calls almost immediately).

asc335

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by asc335 » Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:24 pm

OP here -- meant to add -- this is for a lateral (4th year).

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:32 pm

Quinn Emanuel is relatively chill about face time but I think you have to establish relationships before you start working from home a lot or you’re not going to get good work. The other problem is, as everyone has implied, firms are full of it on face time - my firm likes to say things like “we just care about important things like the quality of your work, not stuff like face time,” but you still get the snide “confused” comments if you get “caught” working from home. Now that I’m more senior I do it anyway once every couple of weeks at least, but it’s never enjoyable because I’m always having to plan how I’ll explain it if someone wants me to “drop by” or whatever.

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Re: Biglaw: WFH/face-time

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 09, 2020 10:09 pm

My firm is pretty chill about WFH on Fridays in most practice groups (unless you had a deal/trial coming up). Most people were in the office M-Th.

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