Sullivan & Cromwell is among the latest big firms to set an office return date, encouraging lawyers and staff to start working in the New York and Washington, D.C., offices July 6. “It’s not a forced return date, but it’s strongly encouraged,” chair Joseph Shenker said in an interview.

With summer approaching and coronavirus cases dropping across the United States, law firm leaders are eager to get lawyers and staff back to offices—but often without adopting official mandatory return dates that could be unpopular. That has sometimes resulted in law firms picking office return timelines that appear voluntary but are still encouraged. Davis Polk & Wardwell picked two days in May for a “fully optional first step towards a return to the office,” according to a firm memo. 

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