{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Ladies! I’m curious, which benefits do you look for when moving to a new firm? Lots of recruiters talk about expanding diversity, hiring women, blah blah, but I’m not sure benefits have changed much", "post_id": "5dd47602742fed001dc745dd", "reply_count": 5, "vote_count": 2, "bowl_id": "5da60c126e5f0d001f32f497", "bowl_name": "Women in Law" }

Ladies! I’m curious, which benefits do you look for when moving to a new firm? Lots of recruiters talk about expanding diversity, hiring women, blah blah, but I’m not sure benefits have changed much

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Benefits for all spouses to take paid parental leave. It means the firm is thinking about families as a whole and not just about the women. Forcing men to keep working after baby arrives still makes more work for new moms. I also look for good business development budgets because when firms buy a bunch of football tickets and expect me to use them on clients, that’s totally useless to me. I want my own decent budget to take clients to arts events, not sports events. I would ask if affinity group and pro bono work is compensated as well - I don’t want to volunteer my time or be required to do extra without it counting toward my hours or getting a bonus.

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Depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want/have kids? Does the concept of going part-time appeal to you? The women I’ve worked with have a variety of perspectives. For me, having kids, being able to go part time, etc was important. For other colleagues, the assumption that they wanted kids or wanted to go part time was offensive. So, what are you priorities? From there, I’m guessing you’ll get better feedback re specific benefits to look for. That said, I’ve found the firm culture matters so much more in practice than the shiny object/brochure tag lines of specific benefits.

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The big, gender specific benefits I care about are 1. Paid maternity leave obviously; and it needs to allow for same leave options for adoptive/foster parents. 2. Flexible work schedules/ability to work remotely as needed (client / partner needs allowing). 3. If it’s a smaller firm, whether they give the same type of protections granted under FMLA, even if not legally required (if less than 50 employees)- including job security while on maternity/medical/family leave. 4. Obviously a trusting and generous PTO framework (the 2 firms I worked at didn’t/don’t care when I take off work or how often as long as I meet needs of clients and yearly billables, and this is how I think most firms work?).

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This may seem silly, but look for whether they have opaque doors/offices. It makes a HUGE difference if you want to pump at work after returning from maternity leave. Having a designated room is required by law, but being able to pump in your own office without having to schedule around others with the option to work while doing so is so freaking civilized. If they have clear glass, it is a sign to me that there were no new-ish mothers in any position of power.

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Are they solvent? How much debt per partner. Do people work in teams. How do they teach you to learn. What do you do in work at different years. How do you access work? What’s the culture? How diverse are they. How old are they.

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