How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

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How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:40 am

I'm going to be starting NY biglaw remotely in a few weeks. The problem is, my lease (outside of NY) is also ending around the time of my start date. It will be more than twice my normal rent to go month to month, and I've been looking but can't find any sublets or short-term leases near me that aren't also crazy expensive compared to a normal year long lease. If I thought I'd have to move to NY in January, I'd just go month to month through the end of the year, but it seems equally possible that it could be June, and then I'll have thrown away a lot of money because I didn't sign a longer lease.

Is anyone else in this position? Should I assume we'll be in the office in January/February and go month to month? Sign a longer lease because it may be much later until I actually have to move to NY?

notinbiglaw

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by notinbiglaw » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:28 am

Very firm, and possibly group, dependent. I have friends already going to the office and others who said their partners already said they don’t see themselves going back until next year, no matter what managing partners say.

I wouldn’t count on being out of the office much longer. JP Morgan already told S&T yo go back and some groups stayed busy after only a brief (nonexistent for some) period of slow work.

It is possible, maybe likely (I really don’t know) that second wave will hit and grind things to a halt again but I wouldn’t count on it.

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by collegewriter » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:40 am
I'm going to be starting NY biglaw remotely in a few weeks. The problem is, my lease (outside of NY) is also ending around the time of my start date. It will be more than twice my normal rent to go month to month, and I've been looking but can't find any sublets or short-term leases near me that aren't also crazy expensive compared to a normal year long lease. If I thought I'd have to move to NY in January, I'd just go month to month through the end of the year, but it seems equally possible that it could be June, and then I'll have thrown away a lot of money because I didn't sign a longer lease.

Is anyone else in this position? Should I assume we'll be in the office in January/February and go month to month? Sign a longer lease because it may be much later until I actually have to move to NY?
IMO despite start date, you should consider moving in January. NYC historically has had lowest rents around January/February and highest between June-August (thanks NYU). This year, rents have dropped in Manhattan, are dropping BK, and are anticipated to drop further. January will be a real sweet spot to rent, especially if you are looking at Manhattan or Williamsburg. I’ve heard of people getting $500+ off the last rented price for places (when typically the rent would increase). Check streeteasy.

Edited to add: current price drops are due to COVID (not market cycles). Timing NYC real estate is obviously difficult but most people I know real estate expect it to get worse for landlords before it gets better. It’s the perfect storm, especially at the mid-higher end of market. People with second homes have fled, people are buying second homes for the first time and breaking or not renewing leases, and most college students are staying home with parents.

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DoveBodyWash

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by DoveBodyWash » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:47 am

Agree group/firm dependent but i think we'll be remote through rest of 2020 at least. Lots of folks have vacated the city. Partners chilling in second homes in CT/Maine/Florida aren't eager to return either.

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:00 am

Yeah, also in a similarish position. I'm starting in January and trying to figure out what I should do with my apartment. Would love to hear what attorneys at firms in NY currently think.

My uneducated guess is that we will start remote, even in 2021, but its really hard to tell.

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blair.waldorf

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by blair.waldorf » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:15 pm

My fairly uneducated guess is that no firm will force people to come into the office until there is a vaccine, but I saw in another thread that some partners/practice groups may suggest "optional" meetings in person.

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:49 pm

The vaccine won't come out until early 2021. Even firms start making moves, it won't be mandatory. I would say maybe May/June 2021.

thelawyler

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by thelawyler » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:24 am

Ask your current landlord for a month to month explaining your situation, and if they won't say yes, ask another place. Landlord right now will take anything probably. I know someone in SF who got a newish 1 bed room 800 sqft apartment with 6 months free and they threw in free parking. Insane deals out there.

jarofsoup

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by jarofsoup » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:47 am

I think JPMC sent everyone home because one of the traders got covid

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UnfrozenCaveman

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by UnfrozenCaveman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:02 am

Aren’t you just going to retire with your fall bonus?

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by Idontwanttomakeaname » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:15 am

thelawyler wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:24 am
Ask your current landlord for a month to month explaining your situation, and if they won't say yes, ask another place. Landlord right now will take anything probably. I know someone in SF who got a newish 1 bed room 800 sqft apartment with 6 months free and they threw in free parking. Insane deals out there.
Agree with this. The market is super soft right now so you can get great deals if you're willing to negotiate a bit. Nobody knows when we'll be back at work in NYC but I think you're totally fine not moving here so long as you can be flexible to get here quickly once the call comes.

texas1100

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by texas1100 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:54 pm

They won’t explicitly force you to come in but you might not get staffed. I don’t think you’ll feel explicit pressure until a couple months into 2021, assuming cases remain flat.

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by ruejay » Sun Sep 20, 2020 11:37 am

My firm is remote until February 1st, 2021 and I am seriously considering working remotely from Mexico this winter. Does anyone have experience with living the digital nomad life while a Big Law associate this pandemic season?

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:11 pm

My firm (non-NY office) has already had some light pressure for folks to come in for certain events (hearings, deps, etc.). Don't think it would be a huge deal if someone said no, but it's definitely starting to be somewhat of a norm.

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Re: How long should I plan on NYC being WFH?

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:21 pm

You'll need to check with your firm. My firm (starting remotely in October) said that we don't need to move anytime before January, so I was able to get a short-term lease extension through the middle of January to give myself a bit of a buffer. Also don't be afraid to negotiate with your landlord/leasing company wherever you are now. A lot of rental markets have seen a decline, so depending on where you are, your landlord/leasing company might be open to doing what they can to keep you around for a few more months. I negotiated to keep my current rent and avoid paying all of the renewal processing fees even though I only renewed for an extra 3 months.

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