Work/Life Balance

More Male Lawyers at Big Firms Taking Paternity Leave

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As more big law firms offer paid paternity leave, male lawyers aren’t hesitating to use the new benefit. And their numbers are increasing.

At Kirkland & Ellis, 78 men took paternity leave in 2007—and about 50 of them took four-and-a-half weeks, the American Lawyer reports. Partner Jay Lefkowitz says the firm now offers six weeks of paid paternity leave and more lawyers are using the benefit.

Susanne Wamba, White & Case’s director of health and welfare benefits, told the legal publication that younger lawyers are less hesitant to take paternity leave. “Male parents are more outspoken, and family life is more important to younger lawyers,” she said.

Reflecting the change in attitude, paternity leave ranging from two to 10 weeks is not unusual at many of the nation’s largest law firms.

Here are the numbers reported by American Lawyer for men taking paternity leave last year at law firms contacted:

• 25 at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

• 24 at Sullivan & Cromwell.

• 20 at Morrison & Forester.

• 16 at White & Case.

• 15 at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

• Nine at Baker Botts.

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