By now it is pretty clear, if you want to be considered an elite law firm — and be able to compete for the best legal talent — you have to pony up with a generous parental leave policy. We are seeing more and more firms offering their attorneys generous paid leave, and the programs are increasingly gender neutral and offered without a primary caregiver stipulation.
The latest firm to offer improved parental leave is Dorsey & Whitney. Their newly expanded program, effective January 1, 2020, provides attorneys with 15 weeks paid leave — up from 10 — as well as a 4 week ramp up/down periods surrounding leave (for anyone that takes at least 12 continuous weeks of parental leave) which consists of a 50 percent billable hours expectation. The firm is also doubling their adoption assistance program, increasing the reimbursable expenses from $5,000 to $10,000 for qualified adoption expenses.
Bill Stoeri, Managing Partner, said the program’s expansion is part of the firm’s commitment to helping employees have a real work/life balance:
“We are committed to being a family-friendly workplace and to having the policies and benefits in place that enable our attorneys and staff to manage their professional and personal lives in the way that works best for them. We believe this benefits our lawyers, the Firm as a whole, and most importantly, our clients.”
Staff at the firm also receive paid leave, but it is only 8 weeks (plus any applicable disability).
Dorsey has been recognized in the past for their family friendly benefits, including being named a Best Law Firm for Women by Working Mother magazine, an Adoption Advocate by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, and Gold Standard Certification from the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.
You can read the firm’s full announcement of the new program on the next page.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).
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