Law Firms

Law firms offer unlimited vacation, paid 'global experience' in bid to lure associates

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Law firms hoping to lure top law graduates with $180,000 starting salaries are also providing more generous benefits.

Benefits include unlimited paid vacation, student loan assistance, increased parental leave, and career and family coaching, Bloomberg Big Law Business reports.

“The war for talent is intensifying,” observes Siobhan Handley, the chief talent officer at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. She tells Bloomberg that the pool of the best legal talent is shrinking as a result of the decline in law school enrollment and LSAT scores among those entering law school.

Orrick “set a new bar for parental leave in law firms,” Handley says, with 22 weeks of paid parental leave and up to nine months of unpaid leave for primary caregivers. Winston & Strawn offers paid leave of up to 20 weeks for parents. Several other large law firms offer 18 weeks.

The article also lists these benefit programs:

• Unlimited paid vacation at White & Case.

• A “global experience program” at Quinn Emanuel to get associates out of the office. The firm offers a $2,000 payout for eligible associates to visit any location in the world for one week. Associates may also work out of any law firm office for two weeks, with the firm paying up to $3,000 in travel and living expenses.

Loan assistance programs that connect lawyers with banks that will refinance their student loans. Orrick has such a program, and will also contribute $100 a month toward student loan principal for first-year associates, beginning in September.

• An adoption-assistance program at White & Case that allows employees to set aside up to $13,460 pretax dollars to cover adoption expenses.

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