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Return to work policies post-COVID? Big Law Vancouver


chalks

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chalks
  • Lawyer

What are the big law firms mandating for return to work post-COVID? Do you guys have mandatory attendance?

I am at an international law firm with a somewhat small presence in Vancouver. We are being told we have to come in three days a week, with a potential bump to four days (yikes!). Not a fan and looking to see what everyone else is getting. Thanks in advance.

Edited by chalks
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Law123456789
  • Articling Student

I have heard majority is doing 3 days a week in-person but my firm is doing 4 days 

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CleanHands
  • Lawyer
2 hours ago, Jaggers said:

I would say that early in your career, the more time you get in the office, with other people, the better. 

I feel like some dipshit boomer when I see law students ask which firms allow WFH so they can go to the office and interact with their colleagues as little as possible. This probably doesn't apply to OP, who is a lawyer, but I've seen it a lot.

What kind of a shitty excuse for a lawyer wants to actively avoid availing themselves of available opportunities for mentorship, guidance and learning? Lots of current students and fresh calls, apparently.

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WhoKnows
  • Lawyer
22 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

I feel like some dipshit boomer when I see law students ask which firms allow WFH so they can go to the office and interact with their colleagues as little as possible. This probably doesn't apply to OP, who is a lawyer, but I've seen it a lot.

What kind of a shitty excuse for a lawyer wants to actively avoid availing themselves of available opportunities for mentorship, guidance and learning? Lots of current students and fresh calls, apparently.

This presumes that the people doing the mentorship are sitting in the office just waiting to mentor, but people aren't showing up. I'm not so sure that's a safe presumption. 

If there isn't mentorship happening or to be had at the office, I can certainly understand why new calls working biglaw hours would prefer to do so from home and not be forced in. 

I'm generally in the camp that in-person at least 2-3 days a week is essential and in-person mentorship is necessary (not because it's better in a vacuum, but because the mentors these days broadly have no idea how to do it virtually), but it's up to the big firms to meet associates half way and make sure the mentorshop is there, and to provide the pre-covid in-office benefits. If they don't, I have no issues with associates gauging the market when it comes to flexibility. 

Edited by WhoKnows
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That is why I qualified my post not just to refer to being in the office, but to being in the office with other people around. I think the in person interactions are critical to learning and developing your career, but if it's just the junior associates in four days a week and the partners flit in one day a week, you're not going to get much value out of your four days. It has to start from the top, and you need a critical mass. 

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AllWellAndGood
  • Lawyer
On 8/28/2023 at 12:30 PM, chalks said:

What are the big law firms mandating for return to work post-COVID? Do you guys have mandatory attendance?

I am at an international law firm with a somewhat small presence in Vancouver. We are being told we have to come in three days a week, with a potential bump to four days (yikes!). Not a fan and looking to see what everyone else is getting. Thanks in advance.

3 days per week, loosely enforced. You have a lot of 2-3 day Associates and a lot of 5 day Associates.

22 hours ago, Jaggers said:

That is why I qualified my post not just to refer to being in the office, but to being in the office with other people around. I think the in person interactions are critical to learning and developing your career, but if it's just the junior associates in four days a week and the partners flit in one day a week, you're not going to get much value out of your four days. It has to start from the top, and you need a critical mass. 

So you're saying working 60+ hour weeks, on hollow numbered companies owned by clients you'll never meet, for partners that struggle to give you 6 minutes per week, isn't good for your development or for office culture? lol. If my firm mandated 5 days in, without tangibly improving mentorship, I'd be gone within a month.

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WhoKnows
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, AllWellAndGood said:

So you're saying working 60+ hour weeks, on hollow numbered companies owned by clients you'll never meet, for partners that struggle to give you 6 minutes per week, isn't good for your development or for office culture?

In fairness, you kinda signed up for the first 3 (I'll argue with the numbered company bit depending on where you work) when you accepted an offer for BigLaw. Covid didn't change much there. 

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chalks
  • Lawyer
On 8/29/2023 at 6:58 AM, Jaggers said:

I would say that early in your career, the more time you get in the office, with other people, the better. 

I'm not early in my career but thank you.

On 8/28/2023 at 6:21 PM, chaboywb said:

Three days a week, with some practice groups making specific days mandatory. No word on four days.

Got it, thank you. Three days seems to be the norm right now.

2 hours ago, AllWellAndGood said:

3 days per week, loosely enforced. You have a lot of 2-3 day Associates and a lot of 5 day Associates.

So you're saying working 60+ hour weeks, on hollow numbered companies owned by clients you'll never meet, for partners that struggle to give you 6 minutes per week, isn't good for your development or for office culture? lol. If my firm mandated 5 days in, without tangibly improving mentorship, I'd be gone within a month.

Yeah, I feel like that's more the norm. I don't receive or provide more / less mentorship where I am. It's all the same whether I am in the office or at home.

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AllWellAndGood
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, WhoKnows said:

In fairness, you kinda signed up for the first 3 (I'll argue with the numbered company bit depending on where you work) when you accepted an offer for BigLaw. Covid didn't change much there. 

Well, yes, but I was naive going in, so there's that.

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