More Biglaw Firms Are Offering Telecommuting Programs To Promote Flexible Working Arrangements

By Nethani Palmani | Mar 22, 2017 01:19 PM EDT

While the millennials want flexible working arrangements for a set of reasons, so do people who have been working in Biglaw firms for 20 years. (Photo : David Ramos / Getty Image)

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has announced a formal remote-working program for Biglaw associates two weeks ago. The program will allow its third-year and senior lawyers to telecommute for up to two days each week.

Not only the program determines to promote work/life balance and positive client engagement, but it also assists people who had been severely affected by facetime obligations at the firm, especially women and lawyers with families. According to Above The Law, other Biglaw firms have taken notice of the program and have made initiatives to launch similar programs.

Jackson Lewis, one of the Biglaw firms that rolled out a similar plan will allow associates to work remotely on "as needed" basis, as long as they remain productive. Vincent Cino, the firm's chairman, explained that the policy was enacted to continue attracting and retaining elite-level team members, and "ensure both attorneys and clients are satisfied with the Jackson Lewis experience."

According to American Lawyer, Baker McKenzie has also announced a similar telecommuting program, but the Biglaw firm is offering remote working scenarios for all employees and not just lawyers. The plan aims to help employees by providing flexible working arrangements, that is not limited to a certain gender or age group.

"If you're in your late 40s and 50s, you can be caught between all sorts of different responsibilities," chief talent officer Peter May said. She added that this age group, unlike the millennials, finds themselves sandwiched between caring for their parents and raising children.

With Jackson Lewis and Baker McKenzie joining the future of law practice, the legal sphere is beginning to create a flexible environment that produces more engaged employees. If they're more engaged they're going to be more productive, and if they're more productive, that's going to have huge organizational implications for Biglaw firms.

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