Open Thread: I Vant to be Alone
(Or, Unwanted Officemates)

shared office space copy.jpgWe’ve noticed a conversation in the ATL community page about Biglaw associates who have been forced to shack up in shared office space. According to the community post:

Dewey & LeBoeuf [FN1] has informed us that first, second and third year associates will be sharing 12X12 offices. In a meeting we were basically told ‘like it or leave it’ but were shortly there after reminded of the slumping economy’s effect on top tier law firm associates job market. Is any other top tier firm pulling this crap or it is just these soul sucking greedy slobs here?”

Shared office space is certainly not the ideal. It’s distracting to hear the type, type, typing of your office mate’s computer and to listen in on their calls. And you can’t really let it all hang out when the door is closed (or get up to the mischief detailed in this Skadden urban legend).
Firms usually cite space reasons as the culprit behind pairing associates up. Some have also claimed that a senior office mate can be an asset, one who provides guidance and can answer small questions that come up. Perhaps they also like the monitoring aspect: associates may be less likely to spend an hour on the phone talking about the weekend’s events if they’ve got a colleague within earshot.
At least it means that your firm is doing well, and buzzing along at full employment, as there aren’t empty offices to go around. Dewey’s not the only one. See another on-topic e-mail after the jump.
What’s the trend at your firm? Is office sharing common, and if so, for how long? And you know, of course, that we treasure on-the-job vignettes, so if you have any amusing or horrible office-sharing moments to spill, please do.
[FN1] The firm’s name was disclosed in the comments on the post. We reached out to them for comment, but are still waiting to hear back.

This e-mail came in from an associate at another firm:

I am concluding my first year at a big law firm in NYC, and remain in a shared office with another litigation associate. As it was represented to us during our summer associateships, first years only are supposed to share offices for the first 6-8 months, and yet I remain dutifully tied to my office-mate, possibly for the rest of my days.
I’d like to know how other big firms handle office-sharing.

So, what’s the deal with office-sharing at your firm?

(hidden for your protection)

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