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READY OR NOT - It’s difficult to call a decision that’s been gestating for 18 months “hasty.” But, when it comes to office returns, it might just be an accurate descriptor. Many large law firm leaders are still hoping against hope that they’ll be able to bring lawyers and staff back in-person on a regular basis starting as soon as this month. But there’s a distinct possibility those tentative return dates will need to be pushed back, perhaps even until 2022. And while that’s not likely to sit well with some firm heads, they could, quite frankly, use the extra time to deal with a number of looming issues around office returns. As we explore in this week’s Law.com Trendspotter column, firms are still wrestling with pushback to their vaccine mandates or struggling with whether to impose such a mandate in the first place, all while the entire concept of office returns continues to cause a growing rift between attorneys and staff. Given how wildly the pandemic’s pendulum has swung between hope and anxiety in just the past few months, it might be prudent for firms to step back and assess whether returning too early might actually damage the culture they’re hoping to rebuild. I’m interested to hear what you think: Regardless of whether they’re being realistic, are firms that are eyeing September or October office return dates being too hasty given the number of unresolved personnel issues still looming? Let me know at [email protected].

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