The Great Law Firm Reopening Tracker: 2022 Returns To Office And Vaccination Mandates Abound

Firm Reopening/WFH Policy/Vaccination Mandate Akin Gump Firm is limiting office access to those who have been fully vaccinated (i.e., those who are two weeks past their final shot); the firm has pushed back its reopening date to October 11 from September 13; the firm has now delayed its plans to reopen on October 11, and will not provide a new RTO date; employees will be kept on standby with 30 days’ notice for a new reopening date; the firm has announced a new reopening date of November 8 Arent Fox On July 6, all of the firm’s U.S offices will be open, and employees will likely come in once a week, eventually working their way up to coming in twice a week; it’s expected that all personnel will maintain a “routine physical presence” in the office, but remote work flexibility is still on the table BakerHostetler Firm was supposed to officially reopen on September 8, but those plans were scrapped thanks to the Delta variant; BakerHostetler has not announced a new reopening date; firm will officially reopen in full on January 4, 2022; starting on October 18, firm will be encouraging all employees to work in its offices on Wednesdays and Thursdays through the end of 2021 Baker McKenzie Firm is planning to reopen its North American offices in early September; remote work from home is still on the table at the firm, but in-person interaction will be highlighted Ballard Spahr Firm will now require everyone who wants to enter the office (e.g., employees, visitors, clients, and vendors) to be vaccinated Boies Schiller As of August 8, employees must be vaccinated if they want to go into the office; firm will stage a full reopening in late September or early October, depending on the “specific health factors” of each office region Cadwalader Office attendance is encouraged, but not required, through Labor Day 2021; thereafter, and through year-end, office attendance is expected, but not on a full-time basis; in 2022, the office will be the “primary workspace” for attorneys and staffers Cahill Firm will not require personnel to return to the office until January 2022 Carlton Fields Firm recently notified all employees that they must be fully vaccinated to return to the office by October 4; effective August 9, the firm started its new policy of limiting office access only to those vaccinated Cleary Gottlieb As of August 9, the firm will be mandating vaccines for all U.S. personnel before they can enter the office, with medical or religious exemption requests due by September 20; Cleary will be putting off its full reopening until October 18 (its previous return-to-office date was September 13) sources say that lawyers and staff will be expected to work in the office for three days each week Clifford Chance The firm will return to office-based working, starting on September 13, with up to two remote days each week for both attorneys and business professionals (and time spent with clients outside the office will be considered time in the office); the firm will require all employees to be vaccinated by September 13, and provide proof of vaccination; the firm announced on August 10 that it would be pushing back its plans for a full reopening to sometime during the week of October 25; firm is postponing its reopening, targeting the week of January 10, 2022 Cooley For the remainder of 2021, the firm won’t institute a “mandatory” return to office date or require a minimum number of in-office days, and notes that “our workplace of the future will be neither fully remote nor fully in person”; by Labor Day, anyone working in-office or visiting an office must be fully vaccinated Covington Employees are expected to return on September 7, and the firm will use a hybrid work model for attorneys and staff; employees should plan to spend at least three days in the office and will be able to work two days remotely; new associates encouraged to work more than three days per week in-office Cozen O’Connor Firm will be delaying its full reopening as well as the start of its hybrid work policy until September 20 (about two weeks after their original plans were supposed to commence on September 8); Cozen will also be requiring all personnel to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after available vaccines receive full FDA approval; until then, unvaccinated employees will be able to work remotely Cravath The firm will allow employees to take up to six business days of remote work each month (roughly, a three-day, in-office week for half the month and a four-day, in-office week for the other half); office attire will be business casual; the firm expects to fully reopen on October 18; firm has updated its plans to make October 18 a “soft” return date, and through the end of 2021, will “not mandat[e] any particular number of days in the office”; the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December will be fully remote Crowell & Moring The firm will now require vaccines for all employees upon its reopening on September 7, “[t]o safeguard the health of all in our community, including the families of our lawyers and staff”; all firm personnel must upload their vaccination cards as proof Davis & Gilbert A mandatory vaccination policy is being instituted at the firm; per chairman Ron Urbach, “it would be unwise to set a specific return to office date at this time”; due to Delta variant, the firm’s “current remote work policy will remain in effect” Dechert Firm hopes attorneys will come into office on voluntary basis this summer; attorneys expected to come into office starting on September 13, on at least a part-time basis; firm will allow for hybrid work arrangements, but requests that lawyers spend about half their time working in-person on days of their own choosing; firm “strongly encourages” vaccination; firm is delaying its office return (again) and planning a “soft” reopening on November 8; employees can spend as much time in the office as they want, until the end of 2021; employees will no longer face unemployment for refusal to get vaccinated Davis Polk Firm is setting up two days in May for a “Spring Back to the Office” program; Davis Polk will remain in a “voluntary return posture” until Labor Day, and will then switch to a hybrid return model (details to be announced after July 4th); the firm’s full reopening plan includes 3-4 workdays spent in-office with the possibility of floating remote weeks for attorneys; the firm will be mandating vaccination for all employees; those who are not vaccinated will have their building ID cards deactivated; firm stayed the course with its planned September 13 reopening date for the New York office, but lawyers will no longer be required to come to the office a specific number of days per week Davis Wright Tremaine Firm has announced that once its employees are eligible to get vaccinated, they will be encouraged to do so soon as possible; thereafter, only those who have been vaccinated will be allowed to enter the office or to attend firm-sponsored events; in the future, the firm will require proof of vaccination Debevoise & Plimpton Firm announced on August 5 that all employees must be vaccinated to return to the office, beginning on September 30; starting on October 11, the firm will require lawyers (and “some professional staff”) to work from the office one to two days each week, and starting on November 8, they will be required to work at least two-thirds of their time from the office; the firm has delayed its plans a bit, and starting on November 8, everyone will be “strongly encourage[d]” to work from the office one to two days each week through the end of 2021; the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December will be fully remote; starting on January 10, lawyers and staff will be expected to work at least two-thirds of their time from the office (additional flexibility parents of children too young to be vaccinated and those living with elderly or immunocompromised people) Dentons Firm has announced that beginning on September 7, all people entering a Dentons U.S. office (employees, clients, vendors) must be vaccinated; firm has pushed back its originally scheduled reopening date of September 13, but a new date has not been selected Dickinson Wright Firm has informed all employees that they must be vaccinated in order to come into any of the firm’s 19 offices; the new policy will also apply to all firm events Faegre Drinker Firm’s hybrid work schedule is set to begin after Labor Day, and lawyers will be free to make their own in-office schedules; firm has a voluntary vaccination policy, and fully vaccinated employees may request exemption from the firm’s mask mandate; employees must complete daily health screenings; firm will be putting off the start of its hybrid work schedule, originally planned to begin on September 7; now, the firm will start its new work model on October 4; as of August 9, the firm will require vaccinations for anyone returning to the office Fenwick & West The firm has implemented a vaccine mandate as part of its health and safety procedures during its soft opening and will “require all personnel to be vaccinated before coming into our offices”; the firm will “provide wide latitude and flexibility for remote work” through the end of 2021 Fried Frank Firm has announced that all employees are expected to be fully vaccinated by September 13; “Our top priority is the health and safety of our people,” Fried Frank noted in a statement; firm is moving ahead with its next phase of return, and will expect employees to be in the office one or two days per week, starting November 1 through the end of the year Gibson Dunn Firm will welcome employees back to the office on September 13, but lawyers will be free to make their own schedules, working remotely “whenever it is appropriate” because such flexibility is needed for lawyers to have “full, well-rounded, happy lives”; firm delayed its September reopening date until October, and later pushed back its October plans for an unspecified date in the future; firm’s new reopening date is January 10, 2022, barring “unforeseen circumstances” Goodwin Procter In-office operations at the firm will resume on September 13, 2021; the firm will be “taking a flexible approach to working from our offices,” and does not expect the five-day, in-office workweek to return; lawyers are encouraged to be in the office at least three days per week starting the week of September 13; firm will begin to “hotel” office space for those who will be in the office fewer than three days per week; vaccination is not required, but will be “strongly encouraged”; firm has switched gears, will now require vaccinations for all, following the FDA’s approval of COVID-19 vaccines for regular use (which will likely occur “in the coming weeks”); once approved, the firm’s offices will “only be open to those individuals (including all partners, employees, onsite vendors and visitors) who have been fully vaccinated”; employees must provide proof of vaccination to the firm; “non-vaccination status will not be considered a legitimate reason to support 100% remote work”; the firm has announced a new reopening date of November 8 Greenberg Traurig Firm introduced a vaccine mandate for all U.S. employees as of August 12; this is the first Florida-based firm to issue such a mandate; firm is nearly 90% vaccinated Hanson Bridgett Firm introduced a vaccine mandate on July 23, and the new policy will apply “for anyone working in or visiting any of Hanson Bridgett’s five physical office locations or attending a firm-sponsored event at other locations”; paid time off will be provided for employees to get vaccinated; 93% of its personnel are already fully vaccinated Hogan Lovells Firm states that only fully vaccinated employees may return to the office prior to September 13; thereafter, the firm will assess whether vaccinations will still be required for entry; the firm has delayed its reopening to November 1 Holland & Knight Firm originally hoped to reopen its offices after Labor Day; due to the rise of the Delta variant, the firm rescheduled its RTO date to October 12; firm has now decided to delay it October reopening and says it “appears unlikely” that a full reopening will occur before January 2022; as of August 30, personnel must have provided proof of partial vaccination status to be present in the office; as of October 12, personnel must have provided proof of full vaccination status to be present in the office Hueston Hennigan Employees were encouraged to return to the firm on a voluntary basis starting on June 15, with one requirement: vaccination, with proof; the firm had been planning a full return to the office after Labor Day, but the new surge of Delta infections has made management start to rethink things Jenner & Block Firm will start allowing lawyers to return to U.S. offices, on a voluntary basis, starting June 7 (subject to government occupancy restrictions, social distancing, employees being vaccinated, or having a negative PCR test); this is the first phase of the firm’s plan, with the ultimate goal of having as many offices as possible return to normal occupancy levels, with appropriate flexibility, and office as the primary workspace Jones Day Lawyers at the firm’s D.C. office, “who are able to do so,” are encouraged to start working from the office on May 24; rooftop get-togethers will begin on June 13 Katten Firm will reopen after Labor Day, but will not require lawyers to spend a “particular number of days in the office” Kirkland & Ellis Because the firm believes that an “office-centric work environment is necessary,” starting on September 7, lawyers should plan to return to the office as their “routine baseline”; firm’s September plans were scrapped, and its new reopening date is November 8; at that time, firm will require vaccination or weekly COVID testing for all Kramer Levin The firm is expecting attorneys to return to the office “sometime in September, but not before September 20”; attorneys will not have to work in-office every day (firm is “planning for our attorneys to be able to work some days in the office and some days remotely on average each week”); effective August 25, only those who have been fully vaccinated (with proof) will be permitted to enter the office; this new policy will also apply to third parties, like clients, guests, and vendors; firm’s original reopening plans were postponed; firm will reopen in full on January 4, 2022, with its first “reorientation” period lasting from November 1 through November 12 (lawyers and staff will work from the office at least one day a week during this time) Kelley Drye The firm is encouraging its lawyers and staffers to voluntarily come to the office “from time to time” this summer; after Labor Day, firm “expect[s] to move to a fuller return to the office with flexibility for remote work”; the firm’s “fuller return” will begin on October 4 Latham & Watkins The firm will undergo a “gradual transition” back to the office this summer, with the “general expectation” that by mid-September, attorneys and staffers “will have re-established their regular routine of working from the office”; attorneys and staff must have at least received either a single-dose vaccine or the first of a two-dose vaccine by September 13; all U.S. personnel must be fully vaccinated by October 18, and must provide proof of each vaccination dose to the firm Loeb & Loeb Firm will invite employees back to the office in three phases: after the July 4th holiday, employees can visit the office voluntarily; after Labor Day, the firm will encourage a “somewhat more meaningful return to office,” which will last “through at least the end of 2021”; thereafter, Loeb will evaluate its new hybrid way of working to figure out what will the future of the firm will look like; firm planned to begin the second phase of its return on October 18 (after already pushing those plans back from just after Labor Day), but those plans were scrapped; a new RTO date has not been announced Lowenstein Sandler Firm announced on April 30 that it would be rolling out a three-phase reopening plan, until July 4, employees are invited to “try out the office”; starting July 6, employees are invited to return on a voluntary basis for “a day or two each week”; after Labor Day, employees are expected to be working in an office “most of the time” (i.e., three or more days each week); effective August 2, the firm will require all employees to be vaccinated to return to office; firm has “indefinitely delayed” the next stage of its reopening plans (previously set for September 6 and October 4) due to recent surge of Delta infections McDermott Will & Emery Firm is pushing back its reopening date to October 12, and will also require all employees who intend to enter the office to be vaccinated (with proof), starting August 6 Milbank Firm has announced that November 8 is its mandatory return-to-office date; associates in classes of 2021 and 2020 are expected to return to the office four days a week;  all other lawyers are expected to return to the office three days a week; all lawyers will be permitted to work on a fully remote basis the weeks of November 22 (Thanksgiving holiday) and December 27 (Christmas/New Year’s holiday) Mintz Firm has announced that employees may return voluntarily starting on July 6, and those who are vaccinated will no longer need to wear masks or socially distance from colleagues; those who are unvaccinated will not be allowed to enter building and will continue to work remotely until September Norton Rose Fulbright Firm will be limiting U.S. office access to those “who are fully vaccinated”; although the firm is sill planning to return to its office in September, it will be “continually monitoring the situation and evaluating this timeline”; the firm has delayed its official office return to 2022 Orrick Firm is targeting a September return to work (post-Labor Day), and those who are able to do their jobs remotely will not be required to return to the office five days a week; firm has postponed its planned return to office and a fuller reopening isn’t expected before November 1 Patterson Belknap Firm announced that as of July 6, everyone who entered the office “must be fully vaccinated subject to medical or religious accommodations under applicable law” Paul Hastings Lawyers and staffers are expected to return to the office on September 7 (potentially on an everyday basis); according to firm’s return-to-office memo, “by default, we should work from the office when we are able”; in a second memo, the firm seems to have walked back its prior “by default” language, stating its intention to remain a flexible workplace; effective August 10, all U.S. employees are expected to be fully vaccinated and practice universal masking; firm has delayed its reopening to November 1 Paul Weiss Attorneys and staff were expected to return to the firm on September 13, but effective August 5, it will indefinitely postpone the planned “phase 2” office reopening, with a new date announced roughly 30 days ahead of the ultimate reopening; the firm will be requiring everyone who enters its offices to be fully vaccinated, and as of August 9, anyone who has failed to provide proof of vaccination will have card keys deactivated Perkins Coie Lawyers and staffers are expected to return to the office on October 4; lawyers will come into the office a set number of days (and they’ll able to choose which days themselves); more than half of employees have already been vaccinated, but the firm will still require masks and social distancing; thanks to the Delta variant, the firm has delayed its formal reopening until January 2022 Reed Smith Firm will roll out a three-phase reopening plan: in June, the firm will host “Welcome Back Wednesdays,” where all employees will be encouraged to sign up to work one office Wednesday; on July 6, the firm will have a soft opening, where employees will be able to come into the office by reservation only; on September 7, all U.S. offices will be fully reopened; lawyers will not have to work a set number of days in the office, even when the firm has fully reopened, but will be expected to maintain somewhat of a “routine physical presence”; firm has announced that all employees are expected to be fully vaccinated by September 13; firm is postponing its full reopening originally scheduled for September 13 but no further information about a new date has been announced Ropes & Gray “Permissive office usage” will continue in U.S. offices until Labor Day in September; thereafter, the firm will provide “at least 45 days’ notice before moving from permissive usage to a broader office return”; on May 5, the firm announced a three-phase reopening plan, culminating in November with a three-day, in-office workweek; firm will provide free food every day of the week after Memorial Day through Labor Day; the firm will require vaccines for all employees, effective August 9; firm will disable the IDs of unvaccinated employees so they will be unable to gain access to the office; on August 12, the firm notified lawyers and staff that it would be delaying Phase 2 reopening to October 18, a bit later than originally imagined; firm is moving to its next return-to-office phase on November 8, and lawyers are expected to work from the office at least one or two days per week through the end of 2021; as part of this plan, the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December will be fully remote Sanford Heisler Firm has announced a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for all of its attorneys and staff prior to their return to the office; firm plans to reopen its offices in June, and employees are expected to come in at least part-time by September; firm is postponing its September 9 return-to-office date, but has not yet announced a new date; firm has that it will delay its return to the office until January 10, 2022 Schiff Hardin The firm will be delaying its return to office until November 4; effective August 9, all employees and anyone entering the firm’s offices will be expected to be fully vaccinated; effective immediately at the firm, anyone in the office must be masked and socially distanced Seyfarth Shaw Firm has a new vaccination mandate and now, anyone entering the firm’s offices must be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test; unvaccinated personnel must test negative on a weekly basis; firm’s reopening date is now September 27, as opposed to September 13, as was planned Sheppard Mullin The firm has announced a relaxed, three-phase reopening plan, inviting those who are fully vaccinated to return to work on “some days,” to “do your best” to come to the office “on some days” after July 6, with the expectation that people to “come to the office on some days” on September 7 and thereafter; as of August 10, firm is postponing its planned return-to-office date of September 7, and will “announce a new date in the future with plenty of advance notice”; those who do go to the office will not only be required to wear a mask and remain socially distanced, but starting on August 16, the firm will have a new vaccination mandate Sidley Austin The firm is in the midst of a “gradual and flexible transition” to its U.S. offices, and “[o]pportunities to work remotely will remain during the transition and in the future”; the firm is focusing on “empathy and understanding” in its return to the office, and will “preserv[e] the ability to work remotely as needed and appropriate” even after it fully reopens in September; as of August 10, the firm is delaying its proposed return-to-office date to “no earlier than October 12”; unvaccinated personnel who go to the office must wear masks; as of October 1, the firm will be returning to the office on November 1 Simpson Thacher Firm will formally reopen on September 13, 2021, with “the ultimate goal that attorneys be in the office 3-4 days a week on average”; STB will “strongly encourage” all personnel to be vaccinated; effective August 9, the firm will require all employess to be fully vaccinated to return to the office; firm has delayed reopening until October 18; firm has confirmed its October 18 reopening plans, with hope that attorneys be in the office 1-2 days a week; U.S. lawyers encouraged to “work remotely Thanksgiving week and the last two weeks of the year (December 20th-January 2nd)” Skadden Arps The firm is setting its sights on a September 13 formal reopening of its U.S. offices, with a hybrid work model that will include at least three days of in-office work, but “remote work flexibility will be part of our work routine going forward”; the firm is not requiring vaccinations, but unvaccinated employees must be tested for COVID-19 prior to entering the office; firm recently announced that it’s still planning to open its doors in mid-September, but will now require all employees (and clients, guests, and vendors) to be vaccinated Stroock Both attorneys and staff members will be able to work on a hybrid schedule to “break down … class barriers”; going forward, the firm will require anyone who intends to enter its offices to be fully vaccinated; firm will offer paid leave for those who take the time to get vaccinated, as well as an additional four hours of personal time off for those who show proof of their vaccination; all employees must work from the office at least three days a week upon its full reopening on October 4 Sullivan & Cromwell The firm will require its attorneys to return to the office in July; associates unhappy with seeming lack of remote work opportunities; chair Joe Shenker claims the return to office is not mandatory, but “strongly” encouraged Venable The firm will make a “gradual return to the office,” but hasn’t provided a formal reopening date yet, hoping instead to “populate our offices in greater numbers beginning in September”; the firm will “provide flexibility for remote work for most roles for the foreseeable future” and is encouraging all personnel to get vaccinated Weil Gotshal The firm’s New York, Boston, D.C., Miami, Dallas, and Houston offices will be opened at 100 percent capacity beginning in June; the firm “encourage[s] people to return to the office on some basis, as it is part of the return to the new normal”; a full return to the office will be after Labor Day, on Tuesday September 7 (delayed); the firm expects all employees to be vaccinated, and those unvaccinated will have to undergo COVID-19 testing; firm will offer two remote days to attorneys each week, and partners are expected to have a “significant in office presence”; firm is expected to launch partial reopening on November 1, with employees to work in office a minimum of two days each week; firm plans to reopen in full on January 10, 2022 White & Case The firm will formally reopen after Labor Day, after which a “flexible approach to remote working” will be offered through the end of the year, with attorneys in office just two or three days per week Wilson Sonsini The firm will not require its attorneys to return to the office in 2021; from June 1 until September 20, 2021, the firm will start the reopening process (those who want to go into the office will be allowed to do so); on September 20, 2021, the firm will reopen its U.S. offices with full amenities and services, but no one will be required to go; the firm is now pushing back its planned full reopening from September 20 to October 25; unvaccinated employees and visitors will not able to enter any of the firm’s offices; firm has delayed its full reopening until February 1, 2022 Willkie Farr The firm will not require its attorneys to return to the office in 2021; for those who do wish to head back, effective August 23, all personnel (and visitors, like clients, guests, and vendors) must be fully vaccinated and provide proof their vaccination; all personnel must be fully vaccinated upon the firm’s full reopening in January 2022, and be able to provide proof as well Winston & Strawn Effective August 5, the firm is “requiring all attorneys and staff to be fully vaccinated before coming into our offices, with the expectation that all individuals will be fully vaccinated no later than the end of September”; firm is also offering up to four hours of paid time off to get the vaccine with additional time available in the event of adverse reactions

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