While most AmLaw 100 firms are wrestling with return-to-office policies, minimum in-person days, hybrid arrangements and other challenges, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP today announced that all U.S. lawyers – from first-year associates to partners – can work from wherever they want.
The litigation powerhouse said in a firm-wide announcement today its U.S.-based litigators will be eligible to work from anywhere in the U.S. indefinitely – and that it is recruiting and hiring new associates who live in places where the firm does not have an office.
“Our lawyers should work from wherever they do their best work,” said firm chair and founder John Quinn. “We want to invite the best litigators to join our firm, wherever their desks are. Over the past 18 months, our lawyers have mastered the art of collaborating remotely and at the highest levels – without sacrificing camaraderie or the free sharing of ideas.”
The firm will adapt and enhance its mentorship and training practices to implement the new policy, he said, and will use remote technologies to ensure that new associates are integrated into the firm’s culture no matter where they are located.
“At the same time, we are reimagining how we use our office spaces to emphasize the benefits of in-person meetings, team building, and trial preparation when we do get together,” Quinn added. “We recognize there are valuable aspects of the in-office experience that are hard to replicate remotely. We intend to create an even more vibrant in-office experience.”
Quinn Emanuel has never required office “face time,” just as it has never had a dress code. In that sense, the pandemic required no cultural adjustment, Quinn noted. “We were pioneers in remote work, launching global initiatives that allowed associates to work at locations around the world years before the pandemic.”
Meanwhile, the firm’s litigation teams have had a remarkable run of success in the new era of remote litigation, including in Covid-related disputes like the recent victory in the Delaware Supreme Court, which affirmed the firm’s stunning trial win in the Mirae busted-deal case, or its victory in Miami on behalf of Norwegian Cruise Lines against the State of Florida over the line’s right to require “vaccine passports.”
“Our focus is on winning disputes where the stakes are high,” Quinn said. “Other firms can force everyone back into office towers. We’re going to focus on continuing to get the best litigators in the country to join our firm, without regard to where they live.”
The Quinn Emanuel policy applies to any lawyer in the U.S., subject to applicable tax, bar admission, and other legal requirements. Incoming associates still must be hired by and affiliated with an existing office but can work from anywhere in the United States.