Ropes & Gray sets 'anchor days' for in-office work as many BigLaw firms skirt issue
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Ropes & Gray is telling its lawyers that they have to work in the office on “anchor days” of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Currently, Ropes & Gray lawyers have to be in the office three days per week, but they choose which days to show up. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were the days with the highest level of attendance over the past six months, according to the memo by Julie Jones, the firm’s chair.
“Those who do not spend at least three days a week in the office are not getting the full experience of being a Ropes & Gray lawyer—whether it’s being mentored by a colleague, connecting and collaborating with teams, or becoming involved in our larger community,” Jones wrote in the memo.
Law360 noted that Davis Polk & Wardwell announced a similar plan in April that required lawyers to be in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Many BigLaw firms are reluctant to discuss return-to-office policies. More than a dozen law firms in the Am Law 200 didn’t respond when Law.com called for comment on office return policies.
“Now that law firm hiring has slowed and employees have less leverage to make demands, firm management has more opportunities to put pressure on workers to return to offices,” Law.com reported in its story published Sept. 9. “But law firms are still struggling to enforce in-office work policies, afraid of the reputational hazards if they do, industry observers say, and it’s becoming an increasingly sensitive and sore subject for law firms to discuss publicly.”