Winston & Strawn Offers New Mothers and Fathers 20 Weeks Paid Leave
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Summary: Winston & Strawn is now offering new parents 20 weeks of paid family leave. 

Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn is making its already generous benefits package even sweeter. The firm is now giving all new parents 20 weeks of paid parental leave. Previously, they offered 18 paid weeks for the primary caregiver, which typically was the mother. The secondary caregiver was given 10 paid weeks and allowed 2 weeks of unpaid leave. Now the distinction of primary and secondary has been removed and the amount of time has increased. This parental leave benefit is better than what most other firms offer and it applies to all associates and senior attorneys.


“In order to retain our outstanding performers and recruit the next generation of leaders for the firm, we need to offer the most competitive benefits and invest in our people,” Managing partner  Tom Fitzgerald said.

According to LawCrossing, Winston & Strawn has fifteen offices, its largest branch in Chicago, and it employs 1,000 attorneys. It is counted as one of the 50 best law firms of America, and its clients include American Airlines and Sears.

“Parental leave is seen as a critical component for the advancement of women in the legal profession,” Crain’s Business Journal wrote. This new initiative would more than likely lessen the stigma towards women who take time off if both genders are allowed this family leave option.

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According to the publication 82% of equity partners at Big Law firms are men, and there was previously a stigma for men to take time off to be with their newborn children. However, times are changing, and new lawyers of both sexes want the flexibility to work and have a healthy family life.

Additionally, Winston is creating programs that will help attorneys prepare to take and return from leave, and the firm will adjust attorneys’ billable hour targets.

Do you think other law firms will take Winston & Strawn’s lead? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Crain’s Chicago Journal

Logo courtesy of Winston & Strawn


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