One of the lessons of the COVID pandemic that the legal industry has learned is that remote work works. Sure, a fully remote workplace may have issues establishing a positive culture or with training young associates, but we know that top-notch legal work can happen outside of the office.
The real question for many law firms is striking the right balance of flexibility and capturing the intangible benefits of working alongside your colleagues. Some firms have decided to go with a limited number of days in the office per week, some have monthly in-office requirements, while others are just crossing their fingers and hoping it all works out.
But Seward & Kissel recently announced a new twist to their remote work policy that’s pretty exciting.
Like the European summer shutdowns Americans have heard so much about, the firm of Seward & Kissel is shutting down this August. Well, that’s not entirely accurate, the firm decided they’d be going fully remote for the month of August (July 28th – September 4th). So folks will still be working, but they just might be doing it from an oceanfront beach house watching the tide roll in. That is… not the worst way to work.
In the announcement, available in full below, the firm’s managing partner James Cofer also noted the firm would be fully remote the week of Thanksgiving and the last week of December, greatly increasing their employees’ flexibility in those high travel weeks.
Of course there is the standard caveat that if a particular matter requires office time, folks should be ready to meet those client needs. But establishing that the default presumption that work will be fully remote during these times is a solid benefit I’m sure associates at the firm appreciate.
Is your firm also innovating new remote work policies? We’d love to hear about it! If your firm has an interesting work-from-home policy, please email it to us (subject line: “[Firm Name] Remote Work”) or text us (646-820-8477). Please include the memo if available. You can take a photo of the memo and send it via text or email if you don’t want to forward the original PDF or Word file.
Read Seward & Kissel’s announcement below.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @[email protected].