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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
WE’LL DO IT LIVE - It might be time to dig out the Tupperware and practice putting on pants because that whole “remote work revolution” thing that was supposed to sweep the legal industry as a result of the pandemic seems in danger of petering out. Recently, we noted that many large law firms’ office return policies seemed to be not-so-subtly signaling that remaining fully remote or even mostly remote was not going to fly for much longer. Now, it seems like that message is sinking in. As Law.com’s Dylan Jackson reports, the number of law firm leaders, attorneys and staff who expect to work from home frequently dropped significantly between 2020 and 2021, according to the The 2021 National Legal Sector Benchmark Survey Results published by Cushman & Wakefield in conjunction with ALM Intelligence and Law.com. Roughly 70% of respondents, which include 336 firm leaders, attorneys and staff from various law firms, said that they expect to regularly work remotely when asked in the second quarter of last year. Asked again earlier this year, just half responded the same way. Still, while rumors of the death of the office have been greatly exaggerated, the study’s co-authors did say remote work is here to stay to some extent. “[I]t’s clear that the virtual and remote work environment will continue to be a meaningful component of how and where work is performed by both lawyers and staff,” the authors wrote. “The challenge for every firm is to determine the right mix that’s most appropriate to their attorneys.”