Akin Gump will officially reopen its offices on Nov. 8, joining nearly half a dozen of its Big Law peers.
The firm, which currently limits office access to those who are fully vaccinated, will next month begin a flexible transition period slated to last into 2022. The firm’s original office return date of Oct. 11 was delayed due to concerns around the Covid-19 Delta variant.
“We are very pleased that circumstances have changed to enable us to feel safe in returning,” Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith said in a Monday memo to all U.S. personnel. “We know this remains a period of transition for many people with different comfort levels and a wide variety of factors shaping our decisions. For our lawyers and advisors, we recommend coming into the office 1-2 days per week.”
Akin Gump is the 33rd largest firm by revenue in the U.S., bringing in more than $1.2 billion last year across roughly 900 lawyers, according to data provided to The American Lawyer. The global firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has offices in Texas, California, and New York, among other locations.
Other major firms aiming to return lawyers to their offices in early November include Ropes & Gray, Goodwin Procter, Hogan Lovells, Paul Hastings, and Schiff Hardin. Some, like Perkins Coie and Wilson Sonsini, have scrapped office return plans for 2021 altogether and will welcome employees back early next year.
Akin Gump’s lawyers will be allowed to work remotely the week of Thanksgiving and the last two weeks of December, according to the memo. Koopersmith said the firm is also planning office tours for people new to the firm, or those who are in new offices, and providing breakfast, lunch, and snacks to ease the transition.
“We will also have a relaxed dress code through the end of the year, other than for necessary client needs,” Koopersmith wrote in the memo. “That means jeans and business casual, but you will need to get out of your pajamas.”