US litigation powerhouse gives associates unlimited paid parental leave

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An American boutique law firm known for its its litigation work has given associates unlimited paid parental leave regardless of gender or caregiver status.

Susman Godfrey said that its extended parental leave policy means that an associate, during whatever parental leave period they choose, will have their hours annualised for year-end bonus purposes for up to 12 weeks for any associate and up to 18 weeks for delivering mothers.

“Our new parental leave policy is one of the most generous in the nation, and continues our firm’s reputation for being a market leader in compensation and benefits,” said Houston partner Erica Harris.

“The firm’s expanded and gender-neutral parental leave policy is part of our ongoing effort to foster an equitable and inclusive workplace, one that recognizes the importance of parental bonding time to all attorneys, regardless of gender or caregiver status,” said Amanda Bonn, a partner based in Los Angeles.

In 2015, Susman Godfrey implemented a policy giving associates unlimited paid vacation. Last year, the firm made headlines for topping the bonus scale set by elite New York firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

Susman Godfrey, which often goes head to head with much larger firms in high-stakes commercial litigation, is ranked as America’s best litigation boutique law firm and most selective mid-sized law firm by Vault.

All associates of the firm are required to have a federal judicial clerkship for a district or appellate judge under their belt. Most finish several clerkships, including in the US Supreme Court, before joining the firm.