Most Biglaw firms are eyeing September returns to their offices for attorneys and staff, with varying degrees of remote options. At some firms, the five-day, in-office workweek is a thing of the past, and at others, employees can expect to be in the office all day, every day. Dechert — a firm ranked No. 37 in the most recent Am Law 100, with $1,071,163,000 gross revenue in 2020 — seems to have found a happy medium.
According to a recent memo sent by policy committee chair Andy Levander and CEO Henry Nassau, the firm is expecting all attorneys to come into the office starting on September 13, on at least a part-time basis. The firm will allow for hybrid work arrangements, but requests that lawyers spend about half their time working in-person on days of their own choosing.
Firm leaders came to this decision after reviewing the thoughts of 1,400 Dechert employees who were surveyed on what Dechert’s return to the office should look like. “The results confirmed what we had been hearing,” Levander and Nassau wrote, “that many of you value the flexibility to work virtually at least some of the time and supervisors trust their people to be effective, regardless of their location.” Here’s a relevent excerpt from the firm’s memo:
The future is flexible, and we trust you to choose where and how to work based on your needs, your family, your team and your clients, underpinned by our culture of exceptional client service and an understanding that each of us is responsible for contributing to the fabric and culture of the firm. …
Through this flexible hybrid model, we believe we can balance in-person and virtual working in a way that engages and empowers our community to better support our clients and meet the professional and personal needs of our people.
Dechert is a firm that “strongly encourages” vaccination against COVID-19, and hopes that attorneys will come into the office this summer on a voluntary basis to readjust and connect with colleagues.
What has your firm announced as far as a reopening plan is concerned? The more information is out there, the more likely it is that firms will be able to establish a market standard for a return to work.
As soon as you find out about the reopening plan at your firm, please email us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Office Reopening”) or text us at (646) 820-8477. We always keep our sources on stories anonymous. There’s no need to send a memo (if one exists) using your firm email account; your personal email account is fine. If a memo has been circulated, please be sure to include it as proof; we like to post complete memos as a service to our readers. You can take a photo of the memo and attach as a picture if you are worried about metadata in a PDF or Word file. Thanks.
Dechert Unveils Flexible Work Policy With Half-Remote Option [American Lawyer]Dechert Targets Half Remote Hours After September Office Return [Bloomberg Law]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.