Steven Di Fiore, Chief Operating Officer of Epstein Becker Green, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in The American Lawyer, in “With Office Returns Delayed, Law Firms May Not Get Back Till 2022,” by Andrew Maloney. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Office returns scheduled for this month are already tenuous. And if many in Big Law decide to press pause on return-to-work plans again, their next window may not come until 2022.

A significant number of Am Law 200 firms are still scheduled for office returns Sept. 21, or a month later, Oct. 21, according to data compiled by legal technology company nQ Zebraworks. But skepticism remains even about those dates….

Others acknowledged the difficulty of waiting until late in the year, but are still hopeful the situation makes sense in the middle of the fall. Epstein Becker & Green, which just announced a new office with 12 partner pick-ups in Columbus, Ohio, for instance, has targeted an Oct. 6 return for several months.

Chief operating officer Steven Di Fiore said in an interview last week that will be “a more full return-to-office situation” but with a policy that was in place before the pandemic—the ability for attorneys to work remotely “to whatever extent it makes sense” for them.

He said October made sense as a target because it gave them a chance to assess school re-openings, and gave parents time to adjust to those routines.

“That’s one of the things that keeps some away from the office. So we already thought that was a nice cushion of time to have people come in, and it looks like a lot of other firms are moving to October,” he said. “But you don’t know what’s going to come next. But so far, so good.”

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