Sara Jane Shanahan quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on Boston law firms remote work policies

June 20, 2023

Sara Jane Shanahan, the firm’s managing partner, was quoted in the June 19th issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The article, “Party over? Some local firms rolling back work-at-home options,” discusses the current trend of Boston law firms drawing back from remote work policies that were adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (subscriber content).

From the article:

Sara Jane Shanahan, managing partner at Sherin & Lodgen since November 2021, says the Boston firm went fully remote in March 2020. But in the summer of 2021, Sherin settled on its current policy requiring lawyers to come into the office at least three days a week, including Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“It’s worked for us very well,” Shanahan says. “In particular, we’ve found that it’s good to have attorneys in the office to ensure good communication within teams and strong mentoring for newer lawyers. Equally, we have found that having some remote flexibility has added to some peoples’ quality of life.”

Shanahan foresees more law firms gravitating to the three- to four-day office requirement, if they haven’t done so already. Such a shift would be a natural result of firms seeing their business clients getting back in the office, she says.

“Every practice area recognizes the benefits of in-person presence for their client service,” Shanahan says. “If your business clients are all coming back [to the office], they want their lawyers [in the office] so they can walk across the street and have an impromptu meeting. That being said, I equally expect that people will be able to have at least one remote day a week because, on a human level, people have found it to be really beneficial to their quality of life.”

Even though Sherin & Lodgen mandates only three days a week in the office, Shanahan notes that she and many of her colleagues routinely come into the office at least four days.

The bottom line? “If we’re getting our client work done and communicating effectively with each other, that’s always going to be the metric,” she says.