Signage is seen outside of the law firm Dechert LLP in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Dechert opts for once-a-week office return as more firms go hybrid

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(Reuters) – Regulation firms might differ on when to order legal professionals again to the office, however many appear to agree on one factor: In-person does not essentially need to imply full-time.

At Dechert, legal professionals and workers shall be inspired to spend a minimal of in the future every week working in individual when the agency reopens its places of work globally on Nov. 8, a spokeswoman mentioned Tuesday.

“We realize some of our people still have concerns and we will continue to be flexible,” she mentioned in an e mail. The association shall be in place by the top of the 12 months however may very well be prolonged, she mentioned.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is easing right into a three-day-a-week return starting Nov. 1, based on an Oct. 19 memo reviewed by Reuters. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which is planning to broadly return legal professionals and workers to the office on Jan. 4, mentioned it will not mandate any explicit variety of days.

“Lawyers are free to work remotely whenever it is appropriate, taking into account the needs of their clients and their teams,” a agency consultant mentioned.

Beth Cavagnolo of legislation agency administration consultancy Vertex Advisors predicted a big variety of legal professionals shall be again within the office by the primary quarter of subsequent 12 months, assuming no main change within the COVID-19 state of affairs. She mentioned she expects most massive firms will permit hybrid schedules, with attorneys required to spend a minimum of two or three days every week within the office.

Baker & Hostetler, like Gibson Dunn, is absolutely reopening its places of work on Jan. 4 with the expectation that many staff will preserve versatile in-person schedules.

“We believe that the pandemic has taught us that agility is key,” mentioned Baker & Hostetler chairman Paul Schmidt. “When we come back we’re going to be embracing that agility, so we don’t really expect that we will have our attorneys back full time.”

Nixon Peabody already reopened its places of work on Oct. 4, however the agency mentioned it is permitting a number of versatile choices, together with hybrid, absolutely distant and modified or diminished schedules for some legal professionals.

“I think that the future of working in a law firm will involve some combination of office and remote work,” mentioned CEO and managing companion Stephen Zubiago. “It’s hard to predict what the split will be, but I think the future is absolutely going to be some combination.”

Learn more:

Trio of Massive Regulation firms set office return dates in coming months

More firms pause office return plans, eying November or past

Regulation agency leaders play catch-up as virus outlook shifts

Xiumei Dong

Xiumei Dong covers authorized trade information, with a give attention to legislation agency technique and development, in-house counsel and the Washington, D.C., authorized market. Attain her at [email protected]