Yesterday, on Father’s Day, Orrick announced several enhancements to the ways the firm supports lawyers and staff who are parents. The firm’s primary caregiver leave program, introduced in 2015, is already the high watermark among law firms, providing lawyers with 22 weeks of paid leave and nine months of job protection, and staff with 14 weeks of paid leave and seven months of job protection. Orrick is now expanding parental benefits in three ways:
Orrick Chairman Mitch Zuklie noted: “These programs are focused on retaining, advancing and, hopefully, inspiring the best rising talent at our firm. We have an unprecedented talent drain in our profession. As a result, clients are sometimes frustrated with the high turnover rate on their law firm teams. At the same time, many corporate legal departments are taking action to drive improvements in the diversity of their outside lawyers. We’re responding by building a best place to work culture, including innovative programs like these and our recent commitment to the Mansfield Rule. Altogether, we believe this makes a meaningful difference in our ability to field teams of unique quality, continuity and diversity.”
Orrick’s Chief Talent Officer Siobhan Handley, who also serves as the firm’s Parental Leave Liaison, added: “In designing these programs, our focus is on listening to new parents to understand how we can help them be successful both at Orrick and in their family lives. We know that’s ultimately key to staying and thriving in a highly demanding service profession like ours. Based on those conversations over the past two years, we decided to prioritize greater predictability of work hours for new parents and greater support for non-primary caregivers, particularly as fathers increasingly value equal sharing of parenting responsibilities. We believe these changes will make a difference – and we’re always looking at what else we can do to innovate in this area.”
Last year, 33 Orrick associates, including five men, took advantage of the firm’s primary caregiver program. Nine of them opted to move to a flexible work arrangement at the end of the onramping period. The firm’s FWA program currently includes 34 associates and of counsel in total.
Parental benefits are part of Orrick’s Agile Working program, which also includes work from home, remote working and job sharing options, all with the support of in-house career coaching. In 2017, for the second year in a row, Fortune named Orrick one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Orrick is the only law firm on Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces for Millennials.