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Wake Up Call: More Firms Require Vaccination to Enter Office

July 30, 2021, 12:47 PM

In today’s column, new legislation proposed in Congress would protect federal court workers from sex harassment and other misconduct; about half of U.S. law schools are requiring students to be vaccinated to attend class; a McDonald’s shareholder added Morgan Lewis to its lawsuit against the fast food company.

  • Leading off, the list of law firms and boutiques requiring lawyers and employees to have proof of vaccination before they can enter their offices is getting longer. Hogan Lovells, Lowenstein Sandler, Dickinson Wright, among others, are the latest firms to announce vaccine mandates, as new cases of Delta-variant Covid-19 soar nationwide. (Above The Law) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection earlier this week updated its guidance on mask wearing, prompting many firms to review their plans for post-pandemic office returns. Davis Wright Tremaine, Cooley, Weil, and Mintz have already said they will require vaccination. (American Lawyer)
  • Many law firms in Florida and Texas have managed to keep offices open to lawyers and have avoided vaccine mandates. But they say they’re closely watching the Delta surge and sagging vaccination rates. (Daily Business Review) At least two federal circuit courts have reinstated mask mandates for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. (National Law Journal)
  • Around half of U.S. law schools say they will require students to be vaccinated when in-person classes resume this fall. (Reuters) The pandemic revealed defects in the U.S. bar exam system. (TechDirt)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Fried Frank said it signed a 15-year extension to its 400,000 square foot lease in Manhattan, in one of the biggest New York City law firm lease deals this year; Ropes & Gray summer associates competing in a hackathon produced ideas to improve Ropes’ Insights Lab corporate compliance training product, which the firm plans to release later this year. (American Lawyer)
  • Judiciary Accountability Act legislation proposed in Congress Thursday would create comprehensive protections for judiciary staff against misconduct and sexual harassment. (National Law Journal) A McDonald’s shareholder is suing Morgan, Lewis & Bockius over the law firm’s handling of an investigation of sexual harassment allegations against former CEO Stephen Easterbrook. (Delaware Business Court Insider)
  • Detroit-based Honigman announced that a former partner at the firm, Carl Levin, has died at age 87. Levin, Michigan’s longest serving U.S. senator, was a Harvard Law graduate, federal prosecutor, and general counsel for the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, among other roles. As a Democratic senator he was known as an enemy of fraud and waste.(Politico) A group of young lawyers in Kentucky use Twitter for their campaign to help Britney Spears in her fight against her conservatorship. (NYT)

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • President Joe Biden nominated defense industry lawyer and executive Alex Wagner to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs. Wagner’s a Georgetown Law adjunct professor, former chief of staff to the Secretary of the Army, former K&L Gates lawyer, and worked briefly on global policy at Uber Technologies Inc. Biden also nominated former Cozen O’Connor employment law attorney Nicole Angarella to be inspector general, United States Agency for International Development, where she’s currently general counsel to the inspector general. (Whitehouse.gov)
  • Akin Gump added investment management lawyer John Hamilton, former Morgan Stanley Asia hedge fund leader in Hong Kong, as a partner in New York. He arrives from Stradley Ronon; McDermott Will & Emery grabbed Foley & Lardner litigator Debbie Green as a partner in Dallas; Lewis Roca hired two registered patent lawyers for its intellectual property practice in Denver, getting partner Michael Wagner and associate Rachel Hammond, from IP boutique Merchant & Gould. (LewisRoca.com)
  • Steptoe & Johnson LLP promoted its director of legal recruiting & professional development, Shauna Bryce, to chief diversity officer and chief legal talent officer; California real estate firm Miller Starr Regalia hired business lawyer Bradley Sena in its transaction department in its Walnut Creek office. (MSRLegal.com)

Technology

  • General counsel want their outside law firms to improve their data reporting. (Corporate Counsel)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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