Ropes & Gray tells lawyers to attend office four days a week

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By Bradley Fountain-Green on


Monday to Thursday

Ropes & Gray has become the latest US firm to change their global working policy in order to encourage greater office attendance.

The new global policy, which will come into effect this autumn, requires lawyers in offices including London and Dublin to be at their desks Monday to Thursday. Friday will remain a flexible day for those wanting to work from home.

Prior to this latest change, the US firm required all lawyers to be in-office Tuesday to Thursday.

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In a memo published by Bloomberg Law, Ropes & Gray chair Julie Jones and managing partner David Djaha said:

“We are making this change because success in this highly competitive marketplace requires us to invest in what makes Ropes & Gray extraordinary—our culture, teamwork in furtherance of excellence for clients and our steadfast commitment to developing the best lawyers in the world. These strengths, which define and differentiate us, can only be realized to their fullest extent through in-person collaboration, learning and mentoring. Simply put, we need more people together, more often, more consistently.

And Ropes isn’t the only firm tightening its WFH measures. Legal Cheek recently reported that Osborne Clarke had tied end-of-year bonuses to office attendance. Whilst US compatriots Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom announced a mandatory four day in-office policy earlier this year.

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Genuinely, what does this mean?

Pinsent Masons Paralegal

And are they going to call it ‘flexible working’ ?? 😉 they should have kept 2 WFH days and 3 in-office days. I would be seriously considering changing firms even if it would mean lower ££


Yeah. Ofc Pinsent Masons paralegal is the one crying over this.


I’m not liking this trend..


Would make more sense to have flexi days so people can work around other commitments than blanket Mon-Thurs. 3 days in office is the norm so this is a risk already as they can find jobs elsewhere, but 4 days within Mon-Fri would be more reasonable than their ask and would certainly help with female retention.


Show up and look busy.

It's pathetic

And stay late just for the sake of it.


Show up, shut up and look busy.


It’s a no for me…. couldn’t care less how much they were paying. I’m at a firm that pays me market rate and there is no obligation to go in more than once a fortnight.

Productivity is so low in the office now too I avoid going in for that reason more so than anything else


Which firm and what office?

Future trainee

This will only work if the culture is genuinely nice and people are actually friendly otherwise this is a massive chore

Causal Observer

At least they have a creative way of reducing headcount!


I find the attitude fascinating. A major part of law is mentoring and learning from others. You can’t do either on a screen. You are paid to be there.

WFH 4eva

You are completely incorrect that you can’t do either on a screen, Teams/Zoom etc has changed the way everyone works and you absolutely can learn and be mentored while working remotely. I have worked almost fully remotely as a paralegal for the last year and a half, having never worked in the legal field before, and I receive consistently high appraisals and feedback. My managers and I communicate regularly through the day and they have confirmed that my performance and responsiveness is as high as any other paralegal. I appreciate the odd occasion I do work in the office as it is easier to chat to people but I also notice a definite drop in productivity due to the numerous distractions around me. You are paid to do the work to a high standard in a timely fashion because thats what clients want, clients truly do not care where the work gets done.


No offence pal, but you’re a paralegal. Get back in your box.


Not cool Jay.



Trainee solicitor

This is very wrong. If a firm genuinely wants to attract and retain talent, they need to offer incentives. Forcing their employees to come into the office 4 days a week, specially at a time where we have the means to work from home, will not achieve more productivity. Contrary to that, it will lead to more burnouts and loss of talent. It is simply a mechanism to ensure people are more easily micromanaged. Just trust your employees to do what they’re hired to do!


Ropes and Gray are clearly desperate to bottoms on seats in their overpriced offices


based. this is all well and good until the economy comes back booming in a couple of years and firms are suddenly battling for talent again


The thing that this post doesn’t mention is that they’ve tied it to comp. The firm has circulated materials which says that compliance with this new policy will be factored into bonus considerations. So surely Ropes & Gray is now the least flexible law firm in London?

Low key

Love to see firms actively putting up all the barriers to womens’ progression 💕


Are you implying men aren’t affected too?

Low key

Not at all, I stand with everyone on this!

But it’s particularly disappointing for women to see firms returning to a setup that clearly worked better for men historically (borne out by the fact that partnerships are overwhelmingly disproportionately male).

We’ve seen record numbers of women promoted in the last few years where there was increased flexibility. Hard to see that trend not reversing now unfortunately


Do you have to be in the office for the whole day? Would you be able to log on at 8am, cruise into the office around 11, then head home at 3 and log back on?

No Thanks

4 days a week, that’s a good chunk of my life in the office – no thank you.


Do you really mean this? Family are important and all that, but your career is what you will dedicate most time to throughout your life, it gives you purpose, challenge and enjoyment. I are working from home is to work, ad Wii sports is to reality. It’s okay if that’s the only choice but most people surely want to do the real thing.


Spot the corporate drone


Ropes does not look like the place you want to be. What’s the policy in other elite US?

Elite moron

3 for us here in the LDN (which I’m told the partners prefer, and wont change). NY office is 4 however.


This is largely about signalling to clients and industry how client-focused they are. It being tied to comp is one thing, but it’s not clear how it’s enforced otherwise – have been on calls with Ropes people who were not in the office Tuesday to Thursday under the previous policy

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