Legal Law

Not all biglaw firms are shifting their first 12 months begin dates to 2021

Biglaw firms across the country have postponed their new hires start dates to January 2021 (or later) out of caution due to the coronavirus. At the time these announcements were made, remote working was new and we were in an economic upheaval. Now that almost a year has passed these COVID shelters are not that new and there is a lot to do. Even so, several firms have decided to start their first few years remotely in 2020 – and one is even bringing their freshman lawyers into the office.

Biglaw firms bringing their new hires on board in 2020 include:

Fenwick & West

Goodwin Procter

Latham & Watkins
Start date end of October / beginning of November

McDermott Will & Emery
Start date October 14 or January 2021 (up to employees)

McGuireWoods
Start date in November – personally if possible

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Start date sometime in November

The American attorney has more information on what's going on at McGuireWoods:

The company has had around 30% occupancy lately, said managing partner Tracy Walker. Similar to its summer hybrid affiliate program, the policy is entirely voluntary, Walker added.

"We have these 40 new people and, like our employees this summer, we want an environment where they can excel," said Walker. "Working remotely in teams is much easier when the teams (members) know each other."

Walker added that the company made the decision in May to start its workforce in the fall after projecting its finances into the depths of the pandemic-triggered recession. He said it was important that employees had the peace of mind and job security to keep them calm during the extremely unsafe summer.

Is Walker concerned about creating new employees personally? "When I look back now in mid-October, I think we made the right decision," he said.

We know that more than half of Am Law 100 will be hiring their first year employees in January or later. But are those first few years hosted remotely or in person? What does your company do? Please send us an email at [email protected] or send us an SMS at (646) 820-8477 to let us know.

If others are late, these companies continue onboarding for the first year "at a distance" (American lawyer)

Staci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has been working since 2011. She would love to hear from you. Please send her an email with tips, questions, comments or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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