Practice Management

As more law firms adopt 3-day-per-week schedule, one ties attendance to cash

  • Print.

law office window view

Image from Shutterstock.

As more law firms mandate or encourage three days per week in the office, one is using the threat of reduced bonuses to get associates back in the building.

Managers at Sidley Austin told midlevel associates during their performance reviews that they could lose bonus money if they don’t spend enough time in the office, Bloomberg Law reports in an exclusive story. The firm paid seniority-based bonuses last year that ranged from $20,000 to $115,000.

Sidley said in a statement to Bloomberg its policies mirror those of their clients, who are back in the office.

“We have asked all of our lawyers and staff to come into the office and embrace the collaborative culture that Sidley is known for around the world,” the statement said.

Bloomberg Law and report that three days per week in the office has become the norm in BigLaw. cited a survey of the nation’s 100 top-grossing firms by Savills’ legal tenant practice group.

Fifty-five percent of the firms responding to the survey encourage attendance, while 41% mandate attendance.

The breakdown:

    • 15% encourage two days in the office

    • 33% encourage three days in the office

    • 7% encourage attendance without specifying the number of days

    • 7% mandate two days in the office

    • 34% mandate three days in the office

    • 4% of the firms said their policy varies by market

Many firms said they have “anchor days”, when every team member is expected to be in the office. The most common anchor days were Tuesday and Wednesday.

About one-third of Am Law 100 firms responded to the survey.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.