Maternity leave policy for partners key to retention

Despite some initial hesitation, Lerners LLP implemented a maternity leave policy proposed by Toronto lawyer Elizabeth Grace before a Law Society of Upper Canada report encouraged firms to do so – ensuring that all partners are guaranteed time off when having a child, says the National Post.

As the article notes, when Grace, partner with Lerners, had her son in 2004, “partners were expected to maintain their practices, baby or not.”

“There was some ‘hesitation’ and a few ‘misgivings’ when her policy proposal was flouted — mostly fears that it would be taken advantage of — but soon 17 weeks of leave were assured for everyone,” says the National Post.

The policy, says the article, has allowed lawyers who have worked on high-profile cases to also have children back to back. The firm’s focus on the fact that women lawyers are “creating their own businesses and therefore have great agency over the direction of their careers” has also made a huge difference in terms of retention.

Lerners reports that it has 55 per cent female lawyers and 45 per cent of them are partners, which is more than double the national average, says the National Post.

This article originally appeared on AdvocateDaily.com
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