Kids, Perks / Fringe Benefits, Pregnancy / Paternity

Biglaw Perk Watch: Latham & Watkins Expands Parental Leave

Latham Watkins LLP Above the Law blog.JPGEarlier today, we alluded to a significant revamping of parental leave policy at Latham & Watkins. Now we’re happy to bring you the details.
Under the earlier version of LW’s Parental Care Leave policy, associates were entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave and up to four weeks of paternity leave. Today the firm announced a significant expansion of its Parental Care Leave, at full base salary, which reflects its support for associates who are balancing the responsibilities of parenthood with a legal career.
Effective today, December 12, Latham’s Parental Care Leave policy provides:

* 18 weeks for birth mothers who are primary caregivers

* 18 weeks for adoptive parents who primary caregivers

* 10 weeks for other primary caregivers

* 4 weeks for non-primary caregivers (both birth and adoptive parents)

In addition, the firm is introducing a new “Pace Reduction Option for Returning Associates To Adjust” Program. This program automatically gives associates the option of returning on a reduced pace schedule, for six months, without seeking prior approval. It’s designed to help new parents transition back to work after their Parental Care Leave, without the immediate pressures of a full-time billable hours requirement.
This is a great move, which hopefully other firms will emulate. We commend Latham & Watkins for its commitment to lawyers who are balancing the rigors of Biglaw life with the demands of parenthood.
P.S. Are we witnessing the start of a trend in the direction of improved maternity and paternity leave policies? Back in August, as we reported in these pages, Simpson Thacher raised maternity leave to 18 weeks.

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