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One of Jenner & Block’s core values is to create and maintain an unrivaled environment for superior talent – an inclusive and diverse environment. This means that we work to make sure that all of our people feel respected, included and able to fully contribute. We have a variety of programs, policies and support structures designed to support this goal. Among other things, we focus on ways that we can help partners and associates develop relationships that cross levels, backgrounds and offices. Building an internal network of formal and informal mentors and supportive colleagues is important and helps ensure success.
The firm supports the success of women lawyers through the Women’s Forum affinity group.
The Women’s Forum fosters opportunities for professional, social and personal growth. The group:
The Women’s Forum is led by a steering committee of more than 20 women partners and associates.
The Women’s Forum sponsors programs that encourage women lawyers to connect with one another and their communities. Among other things, the firm has hosted a women’s retreat for women lawyers from all four offices. More than 100 women lawyers from Chicago, New York and Washington, DC, gathered at the Chicago Ritz-Carlton to network, talk about work/life issues and hear from speakers including the firm’s then female managing partner and an Illinois Supreme Court justice.
The Women’s Forum also sponsors an informal networking program called “Making Connections.” It is designed to provide opportunities for women lawyers to socialize and interact with each other in a variety of settings ranging from wine tastings to baseball games.
Jenner & Block also has a support group for women lawyers who are balancing new motherhood with their career as a lawyer. Called the Mother’s Circle, the group meets regularly to socialize and share advice on topics ranging from nursing to child sleep issues to firm benefits for parental leave and reduced schedules.
Members of the Mother’s Circle also hold welcome back luncheons for mothers who have just returned from their maternity leave. Recently, the Mother’s Circle held a panel discussion on navigating the Chicago Public School system for all parents at the firm.
Jenner & Block’s benefits supporting the balance of work and family care extend beyond the traditional packages provided by other firms. Our primary caregiver leave policy provides paid time off of up to 18 weeks. In the case of adoptions, the firm offers up to one week of paid pre-adoption leave and up to 12 weeks paid adoption leave. We also have a generous reduced-work schedule policy. Associates and partners routinely take advantage of this flexibility, adjusting their target up or down depending on circumstances. The firm believes that this sort of flexibility helps it to create and maintain an inclusive environment that helps us meet and exceed client expectations and provide an unrivaled environment for superior talent.
Associates on a reduced-work schedule participate in the annual review process and are eligible for annual merit bonuses and promotion to partner. The firm also offers emergency back-up daycare facilities to all our lawyers and on-site wellness screenings, including mammograms.