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If you could ask for anything at your firm - what would you ask for? Caveat: something that is a stretch but realistic. Background: There is some current turmoil and I have been identified as someone they want to stay through it and wait for it to get better. We don’t have many females at the top. I don’t qualify for equity based on current metrics but the metrics used have lots of room for improvement and the current metrics could be “ignored” for me potentially. (Cont)

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So I have realized that I have a lot of benefits that others don’t receive. And I’m paid competitively for our practice area. At my small firm I receive: - health insurance fully paid by employer - employer covers taxes on bonuses so I receive full bonus - access to personal trainer and nutritionist at no cost to me - free snacks - free lunches pretty regularly - all of my time counts toward billable goals (non-billable, flat rate work, CLEs, firm training, marketing time) - receive $2,500 bonus throughout the year if I average 160 per month each quarter - access to employee assistance program which offers all sorts of things, like helping my family find local resources for moving my grandma into assisted living and free counseling sessions. - pays for my CLEs and all bar association costs - we get two weeks off at Christmas (because client offices are closed) in addition to our PTO

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After considering this further I considered how mediation firms are able to attract business and, honestly, being a consumer who has had the decision of which mediation firm to pick for clients with all else being equal it’s the free snacks and soda. This would be a good perk at a firm. My favorite mediation firm has an entire kitchen that is really nice and very clean and stocked with a ridiculous amount of snacks. There are all sorts of drinks in the fridge and both healthy and unhealthy snack options (like a bowl of fruit and candy bars). It was a really effective strategy because if my client hit a wall I would say “let’s go get a snack. We’ve been here quite awhile” and just getting them up and moving would help them see reason again. It was also a great place to run into opposing counsel and to be able to say “hey, what’s your client really looking for?” without the clients being there interfering and listening. Mediators are great, but talking to OC directly after a few hours of sitting in our separate rooms with our clients can sometimes work wonders. I assume the same could be said for a snack bar at a firm. Plus, having a bunch of granola bars on hand certainly helps keep the hangry people calm.

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One thing my old firm did, casually/organically, is that if you were very busy and closed a big deal/etc, a partner would straight up tell you “take tomorrow off, is there anyone I can talk to to make sure that happens?” I would KILL for that right now - all the money in the world and I still have 18 vacation days to use before the end of the year, and it’s been like 20 months of deal on top of deal on top of deal nonstop

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That's incredible, I love that the partner was so proactive, what a great culture supporting you setting boundaries (instead of making you feel guilty for taking vacation bc yes everyone else is also busy all the time)

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My goal is to make the firm better for people to come up behind me - not just myself. So pushing for myself gives me a seat at the table but I am only one of a too small number so it doesn’t necessarily give me the ability to make real change. I don’t want to sell myself short but also don’t want to be singularly focused on myself.

likeuplifting

Not an answer to your question, but I just wanna say this is how leaders think! So good for you, OP.

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Free egg freezing

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Agreed I asked to make sure my firms insurance covered it before I moved there, they figured it out for me. And surrogacy.

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Training - Case management, business development, soft skills. Let this count towards our billables.

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Yes! Great start for the firm, but we all need to keep developing.

Certain amount of wellness trainings/activities counting towards billables

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YES. If the things they pushed were actually able to count toward billables in any meaningful way, people would do them.

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Push for biz dev that actually counts towards billable hours!

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Actual and intentional mentorship in biz dev for women and diverse attorneys. (Taking them on pitches, helping create a realistic biz plan, client dinners, informal client prospect meetings, etc) A book of biz is the only real way to get a seat at the table, but without that kind of intentional mentorship when attorneys are coming up, many do not learn how to build a book so they are left behind or treated like they’re looking for handouts (they’re not) when they demand better representation amongst decision makers.

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Additional support - professionally and personally. All of these together would be a stretch but given what I hear from fellow attorneys, I don't think these are unrealistic. Secretarial support (currently sharing my secretary with 20 other attorneys). Office support (things like ergonomic equipment shouldn't be something only given to people once they develop health problems and can bring a doctor's note). Flexibility (what time I get to the office shouldn't matter if I'm meeting and exceeding my billables). Some kind of stipend for exercise equipment/gym membership. Recognition/bonus as an incentive for people who work extra hard. Is it obvious that I'm looking for a new job?

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I like your thinking. I do have a lot of flexibility with my hours - as do others. That is one good thing at my firm. I love the ideas focusing on health - office equipment, gym membership - our physical and mental health are often overlooked by those at the top. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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More things counting towards the billable bonus threahold. 2000 is fine, but non-billables should count towards at least 25% of it (mandatory training, diversity events, recruiting efforts, business development, pro bono, etc).

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The boomers all retire/die and give me their clients.

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They are taking those clients to the grave.

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Free parking, doesn't even have to be that close to the building. My firm lets us expense dinner after hours, I wish we could expense lunch too. Increase the fitness reimbursement/stipend to cover peloton or OTF membership. Quarterly bonuses but can be small ones like $50 Amazon gift cards or restaurants (smaller dopamine hit than the fancy bonuses but more frequent). Gift basket of snacks.

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Yes my midlaw firm offers discounted monthly parking (to everyone, not just attys), partners get a spot in the in building garage, but I think even they pay something for their monthly parking...

Dog walking/day care 😅

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Ask for the firm to pay for professional development or find a professional group you want to be a part of and ask the firm to pay your membership fee.

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I’d ask them to pay off the remainder of my student loans, plus whatever taxes that would be assessed against that payment. I have about $60,000 left and then I am finished with those damn things.

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I guess I didn’t read “realistic” but maybe it could happen

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I would like a true vacation. But you never feel like you can actually take one because you just have to make up the billable hours. So either the billable requirement needs to be lowered by 80 hours (for two weeks vacation) OR vacation should be allowed to count towards billable hours. Because the way I’ve calculated it, in order to hit my billable minimum per year, I have to maintain a steady 40 hours of billables per week. So when you do the math that way, you actually don’t have any vacation as part of your benefits package. We shouldn’t have to earn our vacations by working longer hours on other days.

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Assisting with the cost of child care and health insurance deductibles, credit towards a monthly car lease (or if you’re in a city, covering the cost of public transportation), monthly dining allowance, covering the cost of a gym membership

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An opportunity to take some time off after meeting or exceeding annual billable hours early.

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Free snacks

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Going back to work after vacation is so hard.

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👀 Still looking for an apartment swap in NYC. I have a clean apartment in Mexico City. The dates are October 27th to November 3rd, Day of the Dead holiday weekend. With LOTS happening. Located in the best area of Mexico City with a ton of restaurants, cafes, and parks. High speed internet with standing desk, large TV, external monitor, and more. Message me your email or phone number and we can text to exchange pictures and more information.

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Taking a half day of PTO this Friday. Cheers to everyone who can get out of the office early today after a crazy week of grinding. To those who can’t, may the PPT winds always be at your back.

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Wait a minute... do you accrue PTO in your last two weeks after providing two weeks notice?

likehelpfulfunny

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likefunnysmart

Do you have leadership respecting the team’s PTO and firm holidays?

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When's the best time to take PTO ... when you're staffed on a long project or on the bench

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I’ll be giving my notice around when I have off for a long weekend & when I start my new job I have a vacation planned for a few days. Should I change my plans or keep my personal commitments?

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Curious what people’s firm’s vacation policy is? Do you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get it approved or is it more of a “use your judgment” approach?

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My SO’s family invited me on a European vacation and I’m going. However, I am terrified of telling my mother. My parents aren’t the most financially stable. My mom has a lot of regret about how her life turned out and often exhibits a lot of toxic jealousy toward people with more money than them. She especially is jealous of how others get to travel. I’m worried that telling her will make her feel shitty, uncomfortable, and like she can’t keep up with her potential future in-laws … (1/2)

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How much time off is everyone taking between now and the new year? Me: 2 weeks but I’m guessing others taking way more.

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For those of you with unlimited PTO, how many weeks out of the year would you say you’re on PTO?

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Westin vacation club- legit or no?

Kind of aggravated with the example male leadership is setting right now with regard to parenting at CV. At least 5 men in leadership have had new babies in the last month and it seems like some have taken no time off or only the bare minimum. We have 12 weeks and should be encouraged to use it! If leadership isn’t taking advantage of their own policy, what does that say to the rest of the staff? In my perspective, this is likely further contributing to the gender disparity in CV leadership

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