As we get closer and closer to the end of 2021, more and more Biglaw and boutique firms are realizing that 2022 may wind up being just like how it sounds: “2020 Two.” This time, law firms are prepared for the COVID-19 sequel. Omicron is now the dominant variant after just a few short weeks, and it’s even more transmissible than the delta variant. Magic Circle firms in the UK have already told their personnel to start working from home, and quite a few US firms have already revised their return-to-office plans for the end of this year and early next year (see here, here, and here). The latest firms to announce changes to their office return plans are hoping that this version of the virus will be gone by spring.
Yesterday, Cooley — a top 20 Am Law firm — announced that it would be extending its fully remote operations as a firm until at least April. Back in July, Cooley formally announced that it would not ask lawyers to return to the office in 2021, and would require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated.
At the same time, Mintz Levin announced that it was scrapping its January 4 return-to-office plan and would instead be taking things month by month. The firm no longer has a set reopening date, and in a memo to all employees, managing partner Bob Bodian said, “[W]e do not know when a formal RTO will be appropriate.” Mintz will require everyone at the firm to get booster shots.
What has your firm announced as far as a revised reopening plan due to the omicron variant? The more information is out there, the more likely it is that firms will be able to establish a new market standard for a return.
As soon as you find out about reopening plans 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.
Two Big Law Firms Extend Work From Home Amid Omicron Spread [Bloomberg Law]
Mintz Delays Office Return With No New Date, Says Boosters Will Be Required [American Lawyer]
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.
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