Associates consider their happiness with their law firm’s policies as a major factor in their satisfaction—and often a motivation for moving firms. At the end of 2020, we conducted our inaugural Parental Leave Survey to gain insight into associates’ understanding of parental leave at law firms. The results were somewhat surprising:
- While 43% of respondents said their firms offers 14 to 20 weeks of paid maternity leave, just 23% offer that same amount of time for paid paternity leave.
- 28% of attorneys said they felt their opportunities for advancement toward partnership were adversely impacted by taking parental leave, while 16% reported that their access to quality work was negatively affected by taking leave.
- 38% of respondents reported that firm leaders have the largest impact on how policies are put into practice, while 31% reported that partners in their group most strongly influence the implementation of these benefits.
- 19% said their firm’s parental leave policies had not been updated in a year.
- As corporations around the country ramp up support for non-traditional parenthood tracks, only 22% of respondents reported that their firms offer support for adoption, while just 9% said their firms provide benefits for surrogacy and egg freezing.