Avoiding RTO Forum

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Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm

Now all/most firms have ended 100% WFH, are there any that are bucking the trend and refusing to go in at all? How are you faring and what is your strategy?

Asking as I've been holding out on returning so far. From what I can gather, the majority in my office isn't really coming in as often as they are supposed to, but I'm not going in at all. I've considered going in a couple days, but I know if that happens I will create a precedent and I just absolutely hate being in the office. Main reason though is that my SO and I moved about 90 minutes away from the office to be closer to her family who was having some medical issues. I told the firm I wouldn't be back in any time soon because of some medical issues in my family and my hesitancy being in a busy office, and they responded amicably, but I'm wondering how much longer until they'll be like "This is over. Get in. Now." For example when the SA class comes in and they want to them to see how much of a happy family we are.

So curious how others are dealing with this and what reasons they are giving (if asked) why they aren't coming in yet or how much longer we'll have until the gig is up.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
when the SA class comes in and they want to them [to see] how much of a happy family we are.
Lol. Also not showing up, office mate doesn't show up, floor is usually empty, and expect an email asking associates to show up for this very reason. Don't summers see through the bs though?

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:59 pm

I'm one of the partners in my office tasked with getting the associates back. It's a process and I totally get that not everybody wants to come back and for some it will be a very gradual thing. But eventually I expect everybody to come in at least a couple days a week. I definitely notice who is not coming in at all.

Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:59 pm
I'm one of the partners in my office tasked with getting the associates back. It's a process and I totally get that not everybody wants to come back and for some it will be a very gradual thing. But eventually I expect everybody to come in at least a couple days a week. I definitely notice who is not coming in at all.
LOL ok boomer.

Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:59 pm
I'm one of the partners in my office tasked with getting the associates back. It's a process and I totally get that not everybody wants to come back and for some it will be a very gradual thing. But eventually I expect everybody to come in at least a couple days a week. I definitely notice who is not coming in at all.
Is it like a formal thing, you're now the RTO Police Partner?

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:59 pm
I'm one of the partners in my office tasked with getting the associates back. It's a process and I totally get that not everybody wants to come back and for some it will be a very gradual thing. But eventually I expect everybody to come in at least a couple days a week. I definitely notice who is not coming in at all.
Is it like a formal thing, you're now the RTO Police Partner?
*RTO Police Partner (NSP)

jimmythecatdied6

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
Now all/most firms have ended 100% WFH, are there any that are bucking the trend and refusing to go in at all? How are you faring and what is your strategy?

Asking as I've been holding out on returning so far. From what I can gather, the majority in my office isn't really coming in as often as they are supposed to, but I'm not going in at all. I've considered going in a couple days, but I know if that happens I will create a precedent and I just absolutely hate being in the office. Main reason though is that my SO and I moved about 90 minutes away from the office to be closer to her family who was having some medical issues. I told the firm I wouldn't be back in any time soon because of some medical issues in my family and my hesitancy being in a busy office, and they responded amicably, but I'm wondering how much longer until they'll be like "This is over. Get in. Now." For example when the SA class comes in and they want to them how much of a happy family we are.

So curious how others are dealing with this and what reasons they are giving (if asked) why they aren't coming in yet or how much longer we'll have until the gig is up.
most firms did incredibly well last year, and i would definitely bring that up if anyone tries to "demand" that you come back into the office, especially given the medical issues going on.

quite frankly, firms cannot afford to lose anyone right now. assuming you don't give a shit about partnership (and it sounds like you dont), then i would keep doing your thing. if anyone tells you to start coming into the office, tell them there is a medical issue. if they press, tell them to bring it up with HR (in other words, you should tell them to politely fuck off).

ignore this advice if you have partnership aspirations.

jimmythecatdied6

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:59 pm
I'm one of the partners in my office tasked with getting the associates back. It's a process and I totally get that not everybody wants to come back and for some it will be a very gradual thing. But eventually I expect everybody to come in at least a couple days a week. I definitely notice who is not coming in at all.
do you tattle, too? lol. you sound like a loser.

Moneytrees

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Moneytrees » Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm

jimmythecatdied6 wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
Now all/most firms have ended 100% WFH, are there any that are bucking the trend and refusing to go in at all? How are you faring and what is your strategy?

Asking as I've been holding out on returning so far. From what I can gather, the majority in my office isn't really coming in as often as they are supposed to, but I'm not going in at all. I've considered going in a couple days, but I know if that happens I will create a precedent and I just absolutely hate being in the office. Main reason though is that my SO and I moved about 90 minutes away from the office to be closer to her family who was having some medical issues. I told the firm I wouldn't be back in any time soon because of some medical issues in my family and my hesitancy being in a busy office, and they responded amicably, but I'm wondering how much longer until they'll be like "This is over. Get in. Now." For example when the SA class comes in and they want to them how much of a happy family we are.

So curious how others are dealing with this and what reasons they are giving (if asked) why they aren't coming in yet or how much longer we'll have until the gig is up.
most firms did incredibly well last year, and i would definitely bring that up if anyone tries to "demand" that you come back into the office, especially given the medical issues going on.

quite frankly, firms cannot afford to lose anyone right now. assuming you don't give a shit about partnership (and it sounds like you dont), then i would keep doing your thing. if anyone tells you to start coming into the office, tell them there is a medical issue. if they press, tell them to bring it up with HR (in other words, you should tell them to politely fuck off).

ignore this advice if you have partnership aspirations.
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:03 pm

Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
jimmythecatdied6 wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
Now all/most firms have ended 100% WFH, are there any that are bucking the trend and refusing to go in at all? How are you faring and what is your strategy?

Asking as I've been holding out on returning so far. From what I can gather, the majority in my office isn't really coming in as often as they are supposed to, but I'm not going in at all. I've considered going in a couple days, but I know if that happens I will create a precedent and I just absolutely hate being in the office. Main reason though is that my SO and I moved about 90 minutes away from the office to be closer to her family who was having some medical issues. I told the firm I wouldn't be back in any time soon because of some medical issues in my family and my hesitancy being in a busy office, and they responded amicably, but I'm wondering how much longer until they'll be like "This is over. Get in. Now." For example when the SA class comes in and they want to them how much of a happy family we are.

So curious how others are dealing with this and what reasons they are giving (if asked) why they aren't coming in yet or how much longer we'll have until the gig is up.
most firms did incredibly well last year, and i would definitely bring that up if anyone tries to "demand" that you come back into the office, especially given the medical issues going on.

quite frankly, firms cannot afford to lose anyone right now. assuming you don't give a shit about partnership (and it sounds like you dont), then i would keep doing your thing. if anyone tells you to start coming into the office, tell them there is a medical issue. if they press, tell them to bring it up with HR (in other words, you should tell them to politely fuck off).

ignore this advice if you have partnership aspirations.
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
thanks for the concern, touching really

jimmythecatdied6

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by jimmythecatdied6 » Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:10 pm

Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
jimmythecatdied6 wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
Now all/most firms have ended 100% WFH, are there any that are bucking the trend and refusing to go in at all? How are you faring and what is your strategy?

Asking as I've been holding out on returning so far. From what I can gather, the majority in my office isn't really coming in as often as they are supposed to, but I'm not going in at all. I've considered going in a couple days, but I know if that happens I will create a precedent and I just absolutely hate being in the office. Main reason though is that my SO and I moved about 90 minutes away from the office to be closer to her family who was having some medical issues. I told the firm I wouldn't be back in any time soon because of some medical issues in my family and my hesitancy being in a busy office, and they responded amicably, but I'm wondering how much longer until they'll be like "This is over. Get in. Now." For example when the SA class comes in and they want to them how much of a happy family we are.

So curious how others are dealing with this and what reasons they are giving (if asked) why they aren't coming in yet or how much longer we'll have until the gig is up.
most firms did incredibly well last year, and i would definitely bring that up if anyone tries to "demand" that you come back into the office, especially given the medical issues going on.

quite frankly, firms cannot afford to lose anyone right now. assuming you don't give a shit about partnership (and it sounds like you dont), then i would keep doing your thing. if anyone tells you to start coming into the office, tell them there is a medical issue. if they press, tell them to bring it up with HR (in other words, you should tell them to politely fuck off).

ignore this advice if you have partnership aspirations.
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
why is this anon? also, really?

Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:49 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
when the SA class comes in and they want to them [to see] how much of a happy family we are.
Lol. Also not showing up, office mate doesn't show up, floor is usually empty, and expect an email asking associates to show up for this very reason. Don't summers see through the bs though?
Depends on the summer associate and based on my admittedly unrepresentative sample KJD's want to be in the office chumming it up and people who worked a few years before school want the associates fighting tooth and nail against regular attendance because that bodes well for them working from home when they join. Even a lot of the KJD's aren't dumb enough to fall for the happy family bullshit.

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

Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 3:46 pm

Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
jimmythecatdied6 wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:29 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 1:27 pm
Now all/most firms have ended 100% WFH, are there any that are bucking the trend and refusing to go in at all? How are you faring and what is your strategy?

Asking as I've been holding out on returning so far. From what I can gather, the majority in my office isn't really coming in as often as they are supposed to, but I'm not going in at all. I've considered going in a couple days, but I know if that happens I will create a precedent and I just absolutely hate being in the office. Main reason though is that my SO and I moved about 90 minutes away from the office to be closer to her family who was having some medical issues. I told the firm I wouldn't be back in any time soon because of some medical issues in my family and my hesitancy being in a busy office, and they responded amicably, but I'm wondering how much longer until they'll be like "This is over. Get in. Now." For example when the SA class comes in and they want to them how much of a happy family we are.

So curious how others are dealing with this and what reasons they are giving (if asked) why they aren't coming in yet or how much longer we'll have until the gig is up.
most firms did incredibly well last year, and i would definitely bring that up if anyone tries to "demand" that you come back into the office, especially given the medical issues going on.

quite frankly, firms cannot afford to lose anyone right now. assuming you don't give a shit about partnership (and it sounds like you dont), then i would keep doing your thing. if anyone tells you to start coming into the office, tell them there is a medical issue. if they press, tell them to bring it up with HR (in other words, you should tell them to politely fuck off).

ignore this advice if you have partnership aspirations.
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
Even if you were correct that they are "hurting themselves", they don't give a shit. Everyone usually leaves in ~3 years anyway. Biglaw is far more tolerable during that time with WFH.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:16 pm

Not going to lie... I've saved like 100k by living at home with my parents these last two years and doing Biglaw remotely... Some aspects obviously suck, but the rapidly growing nest egg is insane. Almost to 400k after two years.

Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:39 pm

Think there is a big opportunity for a top firm to very publicly announce permanent WFH flexibility for their associates. In an industry where comp can be identical down to the penny across dozens and dozens of firms, this would be a huge recruiting benefit for laterals and at OCI.

The problem is that the top firms all have too many partners that don’t want to institute permanent WFH flexibility, even though all of them functionally enjoy that themselves. They want the associates in the office from 9 to 6 (10 to 7 or whatever for the NY people) AND to be responsive within a few minutes by email or phone outside of those hours.

Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:39 pm
Think there is a big opportunity for a top firm to very publicly announce permanent WFH flexibility for their associates.
Uh, hasn't Quinn done exactly that? I'm sure it's helped somewhat move the needle for their recruiting department, but I don't think it's totally shaken up litigation talent.

12YrsAnAssociate

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:00 pm

Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
This "hurting themselves" post has gotten shit, but I know for a fact that some partners go strongly to bat for the associates that show up. So fair or not, I think that at the firm I'm at at least, it's true. On the other hand, if you're just there for the paycheck, then who cares.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:35 pm

12YrsAnAssociate wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:00 pm
Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
This "hurting themselves" post has gotten shit, but I know for a fact that some partners go strongly to bat for the associates that show up. So fair or not, I think that at the firm I'm at at least, it's true. On the other hand, if you're just there for the paycheck, then who cares.
I’ve been coming in and at my firm it’s a complete ghost town. Almost seems like a waste of time but figure it’s not that painful and worth giving it a try for a couple months.

See partners there but not like they stop by and shoot the shot with you

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GFox345

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by GFox345 » Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:45 pm

12YrsAnAssociate wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:00 pm
Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
This "hurting themselves" post has gotten shit, but I know for a fact that some partners go strongly to bat for the associates that show up. So fair or not, I think that at the firm I'm at at least, it's true. On the other hand, if you're just there for the paycheck, then who cares.
What's the rationale for this? Like, how does the conversation go? Something like, "all those associates who meet billable targets but choose to do it from the comfort of their own homes don't REALLY care about the firm." It blows my mind that people think like this. It's so toxic.

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:48 pm

GFox345 wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:45 pm
12YrsAnAssociate wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:00 pm
Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
This "hurting themselves" post has gotten shit, but I know for a fact that some partners go strongly to bat for the associates that show up. So fair or not, I think that at the firm I'm at at least, it's true. On the other hand, if you're just there for the paycheck, then who cares.
What's the rationale for this? Like, how does the conversation go? Something like, "all those associates who meet billable targets but choose to do it from the comfort of their own homes don't REALLY care about the firm." It blows my mind that people think like this. It's so toxic.
It's probably just like "oh I know that one, good kid"

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Joachim2017 » Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:55 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:48 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:39 pm
Think there is a big opportunity for a top firm to very publicly announce permanent WFH flexibility for their associates.
Uh, hasn't Quinn done exactly that? I'm sure it's helped somewhat move the needle for their recruiting department, but I don't think it's totally shaken up litigation talent.
It hasn't shaken up litigation talent because the firms that really do well in litigation have already known that face time isn't really that valuable. Well before the pandemic, elite litigation shops did not require associates to come into the office much at all. So Quinn's gesture was more symbolic than anything else. If there are genuine virtues to in-person "training" or "team building" or whatever other reasons to cook up for RTO, they're on the transactional side. The proof of this is the work model of the most elite litigation firms before the pandemic -- you just did not have to go in if you could perform just as well from home.

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:48 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:39 pm
Think there is a big opportunity for a top firm to very publicly announce permanent WFH flexibility for their associates.
Uh, hasn't Quinn done exactly that? I'm sure it's helped somewhat move the needle for their recruiting department, but I don't think it's totally shaken up litigation talent.
My main point is that a top firm that is otherwise viewed as fungible by associate talent could differentiate itself in a big way with such an announcement. To its credit, Quinn is doing this; however, Quinn is in a small group of top firms that wouldn’t be viewed as essentially the same as all the rest. I’m a litigator and we know Quinn is a sweatshop’s sweatshop. Maybe Kirkland is in this group too as a firm with its own reputation that differentiates it from the mass of other firms named for old white guys.

Then there is also the point that Quinn is lit only and lit has not been the scorching hot lateral market like many corp groups. Lit isn’t in a position to pick up the phone and have 5 good offers by the end of the day.

I’d like to see some place like, I don’t know, Debevoise or Paul Weiss come out and say “Permanent flexibility, no in-office expectation ever” and then see how that affects their recruitment, because I think it would be very positive. Especially so if the firm said “Work from anywhere in the US; we’ll figure out the tax stuff and we’ll make sure you comply with UPL.”

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:00 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:48 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 5:39 pm
Think there is a big opportunity for a top firm to very publicly announce permanent WFH flexibility for their associates.
Uh, hasn't Quinn done exactly that? I'm sure it's helped somewhat move the needle for their recruiting department, but I don't think it's totally shaken up litigation talent.
My main point is that a top firm that is otherwise viewed as fungible by associate talent could differentiate itself in a big way with such an announcement. To its credit, Quinn is doing this; however, Quinn is in a small group of top firms that wouldn’t be viewed as essentially the same as all the rest. I’m a litigator and we know Quinn is a sweatshop’s sweatshop. Maybe Kirkland is in this group too as a firm with its own reputation that differentiates it from the mass of other firms named for old white guys.

Then there is also the point that Quinn is lit only and lit has not been the scorching hot lateral market like many corp groups. Lit isn’t in a position to pick up the phone and have 5 good offers by the end of the day.

I’d like to see some place like, I don’t know, Debevoise or Paul Weiss come out and say “Permanent flexibility, no in-office expectation ever” and then see how that affects their recruitment, because I think it would be very positive. Especially so if the firm said “Work from anywhere in the US; we’ll figure out the tax stuff and we’ll make sure you comply with UPL.”
Seems to me that the west coast tech firms are well positioned to do this

12YrsAnAssociate

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by 12YrsAnAssociate » Wed Apr 13, 2022 10:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:48 pm
GFox345 wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 8:45 pm
12YrsAnAssociate wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 7:00 pm
Moneytrees wrote:
Wed Apr 13, 2022 2:44 pm
As a midlevel who needs junior associates to get integrated and up to speed, I hope more juniors start coming back to the office. I'm at a V50 in NYC and, despite a mandate to return, our office is largely a ghost town. I don't think juniors realize how much they are hurting themselves by not coming into the office and building relationships/learning from their peers.
This "hurting themselves" post has gotten shit, but I know for a fact that some partners go strongly to bat for the associates that show up. So fair or not, I think that at the firm I'm at at least, it's true. On the other hand, if you're just there for the paycheck, then who cares.
What's the rationale for this? Like, how does the conversation go? Something like, "all those associates who meet billable targets but choose to do it from the comfort of their own homes don't REALLY care about the firm." It blows my mind that people think like this. It's so toxic.
It's probably just like "oh I know that one, good kid"
The partners that have articulated it have said exactly this. Basically, if you're in the office, engaging in small talk, going to lunch, stopping by the partner's office to chit chat, then you're a known commodity and the partners are more invested in you. I'm not saying it's right or wrong. In fact, the partners aren't saying it's right or wrong. They're just saying that when it comes time to go to bat for someone, it's easier to care about someone you commonly see face to face.

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Wild Card

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Re: Avoiding RTO

Post by Wild Card » Wed Apr 13, 2022 11:16 pm

Are associates actually making excuses when they're TOLD to come in?

I was told to come in, and I need my damn job, so I couldn't bring myself to say "no." NYC sucks.

Seriously? What are you waiting for?

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