Biglaw Back to Work: Get Ready for Office Life Come Spring 2021


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The new Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the country, with cases increasing exponentially every day. Every week the United States appears to record a record number of deaths due to the Coronavirus. Hospitals are closer than ever to overshooting, with some already legalizing patient care. To say that things don’t look good would be an understatement.

Fortunately, two vaccines have been approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration, and they’re being administered across the country in phases. Hopes are on the vaccine’s ability to put an end to the epidemic. With the latest news that judges and lawyers will be getting vaccinated first, it is likely that lawyers will soon be able to leave their virtual workplaces to return to their offices.

But how quickly do law firms plan to move away from remote work and officially reopen their offices? Are you expected to return to work?

We surveyed attorneys at nearly 150 Biglaw firms and boutique law firms from nearly every state in America (with our largest responding groups from New York and California), as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and Canada to find out what lies ahead in the legal workforce thanks to the pandemic.

Has your company set a date to move away from remote work and reopen its office (s)?

The vast majority (83.84%) of respondents reported that their company has it Not Set a specific date for moving away from remote work and reopening offices. However, other companies generally know when they are planning to return to business.

When does your company plan to reopen its office (s)?

The largest group of respondents (65.63%) reported that their company plans to reopen its office (s) in the spring of 2021.

What are the office work expectations for your company?

More than half of respondents (54.79%) reported that in-office work expectations for their company will include presence in the office at the employee’s discretion.

Have your desks been changed to allow for better social distancing?

Almost half of the respondents (48.75%) reported that their desks have been changed to allow for better social distancing.

What kinds of adjustments were made?

The largest group of respondents (35.25%) reported that new banners have been added to their offices. Some of our “other” responses included these modifications: Close conference rooms one-way corridors No common kitchen equipment; Eliminate foods and drinks. Distribution of personal protective equipment; Sterilization stations and bathroom stalls are closed.

Which of the following best describes your opinion of your company’s plan:

The largest group of respondents (66.94%) reported that they believed their company’s plan was completely correct. This was followed by 10.48% of respondents equally believing that the company’s plans were a little hasty and overly cautious.

Are you ready to return to work? We definitely hope so, because it looks like this might be what Biglaw and the boutique firms expect from their attorneys in just a few months. As with all things COVID-19 related, these plans are likely subject to change, but be sure to prepare yourselves for office life again – just in case.


Staci ZaritskyStaci Zaritsky She is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, working since 2011. She loves hearing from you, so feel free to E-mail Any advice, questions, comments or criticisms of her. You can follow them Twitter Or contact her Linkedin.


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