Law firms, planning their back-to-office policies, are now caught in a challenging balancing act between client and lawyer demands, especially after Morgan Stanley delivered a message directing outside counsel to work in offices or risk quality of client service.

According to a letter obtained by, Morgan Stanley’s CLO, Eric Grossman, told lawyers Thursday of the need to be back in the office in order to develop young lawyers’ skills, deliver excellent legal services to the bank and see a “performance advantage.” He said the bank won’t accommodate Zoom technology in “critical meetings.”