Skadden requires lawyers to attend office four days a week

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US firm modifies work policy, which applies globally, including London

In a move away from WFH measures introduced in the pandemic, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has announced that employees will work from the office for a minimum of four days a week.

The new policy, which applies globally, including London, will see Skadden lawyers and staff in the office from Monday to Thursday, and then Fridays will be flexible for those wishing to work from home.

Before the latest change, the US firm required fee-earners to come into the office Tuesday through Thursday.

A spokesperson for the firm said:

“By affording attorneys the flexibility to work remotely on Fridays and during specified periods throughout the year, our modified hybrid work model will harness the best aspects of remote-working while fuelling innovation and professional development through more frequent in-person collaboration.”

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Skadden isn’t alone in tightening post-pandemic WFH flexibility. Fellow US firms Davis Polk & Wardwell and Milbank require lawyers to come into the office Tuesday through Thursday, while Paul Hastings has told its employees that “by default”, they should work from the office.

US private equity giant BlackRock, meanwhile, announced this month a similar policy requiring employees to go to the office for at least four days a week.

Are you aware of any other law firms requiring lawyers and staff back in the office for a minimum of four days a week? Let us know at

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It’s funny it’s the big paying US law firms saying this


It’s funny it’s the big paying US law firms that want this rule

Sofa warrior

It’s a no from me thanks


Other firms gonna follow suit.. the wfh days are over 😔


This isn’t going to go down well..

Hope not

I bloody hope not or I’m pivoting careers to go in/house in tech


This is going to go down about as well as a fart in an elevator.

(Not my joke)

Wrong on so many levels…


Very sensible decision, and hopefully a precursor to moving back to 5 days a week in the office across the board.

I’ve always said that “working from home” is an oxymoron; proper work cannot be done from home.

But if you want to work from home 2 days a week, you can: on Saturdays and Sundays.


fun bus

you sound fun.


My job is to provide exceptional advice to my clients, not to have “fun”.



there will come a day you will regret not having had fun for the vast majority of your adult life.

The rights of emplyees

So far the advice has been mid ngl

Fun bus

Thanks fresher, good “commercial awareness” prep for those TC interviews.


And why can’t you do that anywhere? In my experience one’s brain tends to follow one’s legs about…

Law Skool

James has already realised he’ll never make partner


if you work somewhere like Skadden and enjoy it you’re likely to be all about work and have very few friends outside work (because you won’t have time to maintain friendships), so this is not surprising.

In reality it will be driven by team dynamics and how busy people are. If you’re mid-deal and there is a call with Japan at 8am and you’ve been up till 3am you’ll probably just do it from home (because it might mean an hour’s more sleep) and take a view on whether to go in afterwards.


Good on them. It might ruffle some feathers, but I think it will long term be good for their business.

Admittedly a third year applicant

I predict we will see the renaissance of the silver circle now if they play their cards right.

They have matched trainee pay to get people through the door. Now they should up NQ pay to at least 120k, put great policies in place (check BCLP/Ashurst parents policy), and only demand 2/3 days a week in office. The difference in culture/lifestyle will become a huge pulling factor for grads who want the lifestyle/prestige etc of city law, but an actual life alongside it. This Skadden move just aint it


The what of the what? Hahahahahahahahahahahah


Or you’ll just have friends who also work long hours..


Why do ppl love corporate law it’s so boring


To keep the sweatshop running Paul Hastings need associate to work 24/7. Toxic


The corporate assault on remote working continues… “ fuelling innovation and professional development”? More like fueling the micromanagement fetish of megalomaniac partners.


Further confirmation of the legal industry being well behind the curve on understanding what drives productivity. They’re like venture capitalists on speed. Little or no capacity for strategic thinking. It’s indicative of a culture that’s also been slow to change in other areas like disability discrimination, ageism, sexism. Overpaid dinosaurs in suits? Well, here comes AI. Quite apart from the impending global commercial property crash, and all of its associated repercussions, many of them will be lucky if they’ve got an office to go to in ten years time.

J Parker

I am my firm’s Training Principal. Over the last couple of years our best performing trainees – those who have made the most progress and have developed widely – are the ones who attend the office 4 or 5 days a week. Cf trainees at home 3 or 4 days a week.

I personally work from home about 3 days a month and accept can have benefits and be useful. But if you are a qualified lawyer please think about those coming along in your wake.

Old Skool Training

Thanks to you, i bet all your trainees love you

3PQE City Lawyer

I am thinking about future trainees, by insisting on flexibility for associates so that people can be a solicitor and have an outside life.

Being twice divorced by your 40 because you are never bloody home isn’t the flex that partners seem to think that it is.


Widely known that Skadden find it difficult to recruit – this won’t make it any easier


Yup, they already have a reputation as a miserable sweatshop, even compared to their US counterparts. I laughed at a recruiter suggesting I go work for them recently, in a team where I’d be the only senior associate …


How does Skadden stack up to the likes of K&E, STB and Latham? Especially hours and culture wise?


This just shows why small firms are the future. My lawyer children both get to work when/how they want. No stuffy corporate environment, it’s great!

SC 2 years PQE

To all the MC, SC and other firms that have been sweating over pay rises in US firms potentially siphoning off your associates – THIS is your competitive edge against US firms.

As an associate that grew up in the pandemic I can comfortably say that any recruiter calling me to offer a US firm role will be swiftly rebuked so long as I get to WFH in my current shop. What people need to realise is that it’s not all about the money, and WFH is an extremely attractive perk of working in certain firms, and with the pay packages being offered by most non US firms now, it’s still a good deal if you also get WFH rights.

The golden handcuffs in the US firms are real and, to me, terrifying. If the rest of the city goes back to full time in the office, the non US firms lose the one major edge they have against their over paying rivals and may likely see another exodus of mid and junior lawyers who grew up in the pandemic.

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