Associate Plans a Year of Travel, Thanks to Skadden’s No-Strings-Attached Offer
Posted Apr 13, 2009 5:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Sixth-year associate Heather Eisenlord hopes to visit as many as 15 locations in an upcoming year-long world trip. During that time, she might practice not-for-profit law, or teach English to monks in Sri Lanka or help bring solar power to parts of the Himalayas.
Eisenlord’s employer, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, is making her trip possible, according to the New York Times. The law firm will pay $80,000 to Eisenlord, one of the law firm’s 1,300 or so associates offered a third of their base pay to take the year off. Unlike most firms making such offers, Skadden does not require pro bono work during the time off, although it does encourage it.
About 125 associates have indicated they are interested in the offer, according to Matthew Mallow, a partner at the firm. “I think it’s fair to say that the numbers are in excess of our expectations,” Mallow told the Times.
Most of the lawyers intend to pursue some kind of legal work during their year off. “But yes, some will take the year off to spend time with their children or look after a sick relative,” the Times says. “Someone’s planning to wrap up his Ph.D., someone else is looking into legal work for a news organization, and another associate will be joining Ms. Eisenlord on her round-the-world adventure.”