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August 17, 2022 Legal Rebels

Why this BigLaw firm adopted a permanent work-from-anywhere policy for its lawyers and staff

By Victor Li

Thanks to nearly two-years of COVID-19-related shutdowns and sheltering-in-place orders, working from home has become the new normal. Face-to-face interactions have been replaced by meeting on real-time videoconferencing platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime or Microsoft Teams, while cloud-based collaborative programs have become absolutely vital if any work is to be done.

And, of course, long commutes and dressing up in business casual or office attire have been replaced by rolling out of bed and making sure you’re somewhat presentable when you fire up the camera on your home computer.

As with many things that people are forced to do for extended periods of time, many got used to the new normal and actually found some of it to be enjoyable and more productive. As things are opening up again and people are getting back to how they lived before the COVID-19 pandemic, will that spell the end of the remote-work era?

Not for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. The litigation powerhouse made headlines in December, when it announced that partners and staff could work from home permanently if they chose to. At the time, founding partner and chairman John B. Quinn said adopting this policy would allow the firm to recruit the best litigators, regardless of where their desks were.

Quinn joins the ABA Journal’s Victor Li to talk about the reasoning behind that policy and the challenges of maintaining the firm’s culture in an increasingly virtual world. Quinn also talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the practice of law, especially in the litigation world in which Quinn Emanuel makes its money and reputation.

In This Podcast

John B. Quinn

John B. Quinn is a founder and chairman of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the largest law firm in the world devoted solely to business litigation and arbitration. He is regarded as one of the top trial lawyers in the world.