While many firms have already pushed off office reopenings until 2022 given the still undefeated coronavirus, Sidley made it clear that everyone needed to be back as of yesterday. The firm assured attorneys that it respects “flexibility” when it comes to working from home, but that lawyers are expected to be in the office the majority of the time. Which, if you take out your passive aggressive to English decoder rings, means associates must be in the office every day.
But associates won’t be forced to brave the pandemic empty-handed! The firm recognizes the sacrifice being made and has offered a token of its appreciation:
Amid reports of more special bonuses, practice group windfalls, and upwards of half a million in signing bonuses, Sidley associates can be excused for a lackluster response to the firm’s announcement to this gift.
A note to law firm management: when you pay associates what they’re already getting paid, every lawyer who wants Airpods has already got Airpods. They’re less than $200. So this token of appreciation is either redundant or unwanted, completely defeating the purpose.
That these devices will be “Sidley-branded” betrays a comical sense of the state of associate morale. Because the only thing cooler than AirPods Pro are AirPods Pro emblazoned with your employer who stands almost alone among top firms in dragging everyone back to the office.
As we enter November, Sidley might want to consider how it’s going to play this upcoming bonus announcement cycle. Because moving fast and big could do a lot to make up for this sour note.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.