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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
TOGETHER AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME - Sullivan & Cromwell is among the latest large firms to set an office return date, aiming to start bringing lawyers and staff back to its New York and D.C. offices July 6. “It’s not a forced return date, but it’s strongly encouraged,” chair Joseph Shenker told Law.com’s Christine Simmons. So… it’s forced, right? No, Shenker said, emphasizing that no one will be penalized for not showing up July 6 if they’re not comfortable. “We’ve been very clear to all the partners and to all the associates that no one should feel pressured to come in,” Shenker said. But is July too soon to start bringing people back together? Not compared to Am Law 200 firm Adams and Reese, which, as Law.com’s Dan Roe reports, began bailing on remote work in May—of last year. Initially, those who made a “reasonable request” to stay remote could do so. But as the months went on and COVID didn’t appear to spread within the office, the firm began suggesting that people without medical exceptions join their colleagues in the office. There were some positive tests and one hospitalization among firm employees along the way, Adams and Reese managing partner Guilford “Gif” Thornton Jr. said, but noted that he doesn’t think the virus was transmitted in the office.