Summer means brief return to remote work option for several New York law firms

3 minute read
Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com
  • Fried Frank, Seward & Kissel announced policies this week allowing remote work throughout August
  • Adds to growing list of firms with similar plans

(Reuters) - Several New York-founded law firms have told lawyers and staff they can work remotely for the entirety of August this year, months after bringing employees back to the office on a more frequent schedule.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson; Seward & Kissel; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; and Proskauer Rose on Wednesday confirmed they have policies largely allowing for remote work during August.

Roseland, New Jersey-founded large law firm Lowenstein Sandler and midsize New York firm Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen have previously said they will allow remote work in the summer months.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Law firms are continuing to navigate return-to-office policies after COVID-19 shut their doors.

Some large firms have asked lawyers to come in two or three days per week starting this spring, while others have allowed lawyers as often as they want.

Firm leaders are rolling out their new remote work plans as the legal industry battles for talent.

Fried Frank, which has about 650 lawyers, told lawyers and business professionals on Wednesday about the remote option for August, according to a firm spokesperson. Employees currently go in three times a week.

Fried Frank hopes the policy will allow employees to "enjoy greater flexibility and a break from commuting as the summer comes to a close," the spokesperson said in an email.

Seward & Kissel, a midsize law firm with about 160 lawyers, informed employees of their policy on Tuesday, according to Jim Cofer, the firm's managing partner.

Cofer said Wednesday the firm has had lawyers and staff back in the office three days a week since March 22.

There is likely less of a need for in-person meetings and events in the city in August, which can also be a challenging month for childcare, he said.

Seward & Kissel will also allow remote work for Thanksgiving week and the last week of December, Cofer said. Other law firms have also put similar policies in place.

A Paul Weiss spokesperson said in an email statement on Wednesday that while the 1,000-lawyer firm is "committed to hybrid work," it understands attorneys and staff plan to travel over the summer and the holidays, and will allow for remote work in August.

A Proskauer spokesperson on Wednesday also confirmed its employees can work remotely in August.

Read more:

Lowenstein lawyers can escape office for August with new remote work plan

Davis Polk joins firms asking lawyers for three days in office

Cooley to let many attorneys work remotely under office return plan

Saul Ewing declares Wednesdays 'Zoom-free' as law firms plot office returns

Register now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com