Thursday, July 29, 2010

Question for the law mamas ...

We've had some (presumably) female readers inquire as to local firm's policies regarding maternity leave.

Now, before you all put on your meanie "get back in the kitchen" hats (and bring the wrath of Elle), let's try to help out our fellow counsel of the fairer sex who make the bold choice to propagate our species while trying to meet billables.

If you know, what is your firm's policy regarding paid and unpaid time off and other maternity benefits for associates?

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know our policy. I drafted it, it is very generous. But I am not going to tell you. I have too many Mormons working here

Anonymous said...

obviously talking about hutchinson and steffen. they love secrets.

Anonymous said...

And being whiny bitches with suspect work product despite claiming to be one of the best.

Anonymous said...

I am at a small firm. There is no set policy on family leave. You can take at least one month, paid, without question.

After that, it really depends on how busy the firm is and how productive of an employee you are/were.

Applies to both attorneys and support staff.

Anonymous said...

20-30 lawyer firm in multiple jurisdictions = 8 weeks paid for mother. And, after 8 weeks, our firm is very flexible for "facetime" at office and billable hours.

Anonymous said...

I took 3 1/2 months unpaid leave. After that I was allowed to work a flexible schedule as long as my billables did not suffer. I think my firm (mid-sized) has been very fair. I was the first female ever in the history of the firm to have a baby.

Anonymous said...

Small firm, and let's just say, there I was provided a very fair and generous maternity leave. There is no set policy, case by case basis here. Another firm where a friend works (not a momma yet, but has asked) is given 8 weeks paid as part of the 12 weeks FMLA, and apparently from what she's been told (this is 3rd hand to me) fellow female associates have said that don't count on not being expected to work during the 8 weeks paid leave and certainly not the full 12-weeks if that's what you plan on taking. That sounds more typical of what I've heard "on the street" amongst us mommy types.

Anonymous said...

Very small firm...with one month off and unpaid. FMLA doesn't apply..at least hubby will be able to make up the difference.

Anonymous said...

Three weeks paid.

Anonymous said...

This is an important topic. America is lagging behind all industrialized countries when it comes to maternity leave.

Anonymous said...

The state gives you 12 weeks, but you have to use your vacation days/sick days if you want to be paid. Of course, the state gives more annual sick days than most people need, so if you save up enough of them you could take all 12 weeks paid.

Anonymous said...

10:49 AM - you must be a Boyd grad. What an insipid, vacuous comment. Seriously. Why don't you put on a little beret, hop on your gay moped and drive off to another industrialized country where there's tons of free stuff - and the unemployment and tax rates to match.

Anonymous said...

Two weeks paid. Up to 90 days unpaid. I was granted a flexible work schedule with reduced hours (with corresponding reduced salary) upon return. (Small firm, FMLA doesn't apply.)

Anonymous said...

11:14 is undoubtedly a male partner with female associates of childbearing age.

Anonymous said...

11:14 wins the asshat of the day award. Don Draper called, he wants his outlook on life back.

Anonymous said...

I am in a small firm of less than 25 employees so we don't have maternity leave. However, there have been employees in the past that they have allowed to take 9 - 12 weeks paid because they were people we wanted to keep around. We've also had others that did not get maternity leave and were basically told call us when you're ready to come back and we'll see if there is a spot for you.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh....http://www.lvrj.com/news/service-of-court-papers-probed-99531864.html

Anonymous said...

11:44 AM - I blush! What a compliment. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

11:14...obviously male and insensitive. I'm sure your wife, if you're even married, stays home while only you work. Some of us women are career driven and family driven and don't rely on our husbands to make all the money.

Anonymous said...

Preach it 2:21!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what this means:

...fellow female associates have said that don't count on not being expected to work during the 8 weeks paid leave and certainly not the full 12-weeks if that's what you plan on taking.

Anonymous said...

Four weeks paid maternity leave at my firm. Small firm.

Anonymous said...

@ 5:12

It means that if you expect to be able to "leave" during your maternity leave, you will be sadly mistaken. If you plan on taking 8 (or 12) weeks away from the law, your plans will be interrupted by a senior partner demanding interrogs, never mind that you got exactly 20 minutes of sleep the night before and you have a little person semi-permanently attached to your chest.

Anonymous said...

My firm gives three weeks paid maternity leave and we can take up to an additional three weeks unpaid maternity leave. When I had my child, I took the three paid weeks plus and extra unpaid week. I thought it was pretty fair.

Anonymous said...

When my wife had my first, the doc made me wait six weeks to bang her again. So, if I can't bang her for six weeks, I don't see how it could possibly be fair to have some partner bang her with billable hour work. Six weeks in the minimum.

For what it's worth, staying home with the kiddies is not a bad idea, at least for a while. Law moms to be, please marry well, so you can stay home with the kiddies for more than six weeks.

Anonymous said...

...And then I remember I live in Nevada, where prostitution and polygamy co-exist. One of them views the woman as just a vessel to use for biological relief, the other believes that too, but with the 'it's cool, God's got ur back,' cover. Both are used to generate money. Freakin' misogynists - go apologize to your mother!

Anonymous said...

10:32 - Awwww, a gentleman in the house.

As for marrying well - God bless my husband, I'm not stay @ home material. I love my children, but there is not way I could do it full time. So for me, I did marry well, I found a man who was and is willing to be the stay @ home dad.

P.S. The doc didn't likely forbid banging for six weeks, it was more likely a general rule is 6 weeks, but if you feel frisky before then, God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine going back after only 4 weeks. I needed at least 2 months before I felt like myself again - maybe that's just me. After 2 months, normal life is still significantly hindered by sleep deprivation. Partners should not rush it for moms trying to do it all.

Anonymous said...

One of them views the woman as just a vessel to use for biological relief

Reminds me of Paglia's comments that modern feminism has reduced women to sperm spittoons.

Anonymous said...

perhaps if more people stayed home to rear their kids we would have better results and fewer little delinquents running around. Sometimes people have to work to put food on the table. Too many duel-attorney families worrying about extra Lexus' and a new iPad and not enough about rearing the chilluns.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more 11:01. That is why women need to stand up for themselves in the workforce and show that they can still be valuable members of a firm with a flexible schedule. It can be done while still maintaining 40 billable hours per week.

Anonymous said...

Forty hours per week? Ha, John Peter Lee bills that in one day!

Anonymous said...

I never worked a day in my life where I would retain a job billing 40 a week. Let's just say momma and new baby could bill 40.....beat to heck and too tired to care about the screaming kid and simply gets by...either at home, at work, or both. Priorities clearly suck when one has the choice to work or not...and yes, you have the choice if you are doing it to maintain a too big house and expensive cars and cloths. Dedicate to the firm, or dedicate to the kids. Lawyering takes big boy pants. Not to mention, the respect level toward those women trying to have it all is sub zero and they are often laughed at behind their compromising backs. Epic fails. ...and the next papers you should prepare? Divorce document...hubby will be screwing the paralegal since you will be too tired, biotchie and fast food fat to put out.

Anonymous said...

1:00: What about those women who have to work? Should they forego having children because they cannot dedicate themselves fully to "the firm" and might find themselves, gasp, too tired to "put out"?

Anonymous said...

"I never worked a day in my life where I would retain a job billing 40 a week." Sounds like you have made poor decisions with your choice of employers. Sorry 'bout that.

Anonymous said...

@1032

"When my wife had my first, the doc made me wait six weeks to bang her again."

You're a piece of shit. 20 years and I've never talked like that about my wife.

Anonymous said...

"Lawyering takes big boy pants....hubby will be screwing the paralegal since you will be too tired, biotchie and fast food fat to put out."

Really? Obviously this is written by a male attorney. Plus, should I even dare ask....are you mormon too? I'm sure you believe a woman belongs in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant too, right?

Why should a woman be forced to choose between a career and/or a family? Also, if a husband is going to screw the paralegal, looks like the husband has his own issues to deal with. Don't be so quick to blame a woman for a man's shortcomings.

Anonymous said...

3:47 PM - Aww, you are so superior to me! Do you raise your pinkie just so when sipping Champagne at fund raisers for lost puppies?

As for me, I like beer, cheeseburgers and banging broads. So there.

Anonymous said...

@4:17,

I didn't read anything in 1:00's comment that applied solely to women. But being a good lawyer means working more than 40 hrs / week. It is more than a full-time job. If you try to be a full-time lawyer, and a full-time primary caregiver, something is going to give. Getting up at 2 AM to feed/change/comfort a baby, doing it again at 5, and working 10-12 hours a day simply doesn't result in good lawyering or good parenting. Yes, it sucks. Yes, the same bad result would happen if the full-time lawyer & primary care-giver was male. You can bring home the bacon or you can care for your children. Only you know what your situation is, and what is best way to divide your efforts.

But "having it all" means lowering your expectations of future earnings and career advancement or lowering your expectations of what you can provide to your kids. Not because the career is sexist like that. But because the career demands more than a full-time caregiver can provide. For me, I'd rather see my kids grow up than make $200k+ as a partner at Old, Stuffy, and Boring. So I've adjusted my career accordingly. And yes, I'm a guy, and the sole provider.

Anonymous said...

I know my career has suffered due to my decision to have children, but for me is is a sacrifice worth making. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Anonymous said...

12:10 AM - Smart chap!

Anonymous said...

I hardly believe 12:10 is a "smart chap" Since you are the sole provider, is your wife an attorney who decided to stay at home while only you worked?

If not, I don't believe you are aware of what it takes for a law mama to juggle between her career and family.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps those here who make assumptions about what gender and/or religeon the poster is simply reveal that they cannot argue logically. I am not Mormon nor am I male. I am realistic and all the people I hear bitching about the firm not advancing them because of their time with family instead of in the files reveals that you get what you put in. All the little criminal kids and spoiled kids of attorney's out getting in trouble reveals, you get what you put in. As long as LAW MAMA wants it all, juvinile courts will thrive.

Anonymous said...

2:24 PM - hee hee, that was good.

Anonymous said...

Judge Miley is prego..... What's the deal with judges and materity leave? Do they get 2 years off WITH pay?

God help her kids.... They aren't there for the two they have, what the heck are they doing having another one?

Anonymous said...

@6:43
Baby better wear a neck gaurd. Just sayin'.

OH...and soooo...she crawled underneath that steaming turd AFTER he choked the dog and gave her a beat down?

Anonymous said...

Judge Miley is a loser.

To have your husband beat you in front of your kids.... watch him choke and KILL your dog... and then get back together and get prego what within a few months of filing for divorce - I can't believe we have her on a bench.

Let's not even go so far to mention the soccer mom she tried to beat on when things didn't go her way. Where is the judical board on these things?

I am so PROUD to be an attorney.

Should have been a doctor... they get a little more respect.