New York Law Firms Set Industry Precedent for In-Person Work

New York Law Firms Set Industry Precedent for In-Person Work

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has implemented a new policy that mandates U.S. lawyers to be present in the office for a minimum of four days each week, following the lead from two other New York law firms that recently announced similar initiatives.

According to an internal memo seen by Reuters, starting from September 5, all attorneys in Weil’s U.S. offices will be expected to work in the office from Monday to Thursday.

This aligns with the post-Labor Day policies adopted earlier this summer by two other New York-based law firms, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and Davis Polk & Wardwell, which also require attorneys to be present at the office from Monday to Thursday.

These actions by leading firms have the potential to set a new industry standard.

Weil’s memo stated that the firm, comprising 1,100 lawyers, has been monitoring office policies of other law firms as well as its clients. It highlighted the numerous advantages observed over the past year from in-person work, such as enhanced attorney mentorship, professional development, and increased morale.

The memo emphasized the benefits of having a predictable schedule with consistent office attendance on the same days.

Apart from the fixed office days, Weil’s associates and counsel will be granted 12 “flexible remote days” per year.

Similarly, Davis Polk has introduced a remote day “bank” that allows lawyers and business services personnel to work remotely for an additional 16 days annually.

As law firm leaders push for more in-person work, the finance industry and other sectors in the United States are also urging increased office attendance. With the pandemic receding, many law firms have already required lawyers to work in the office for at least three days a week. However, some firms continue to offer more flexibility, with a few even allowing indefinite remote work options.

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