Law firm updates parental leave policy to promote gender equality

updated on 18 June 2024

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The London managing partner of Jenner & Block LLP, Christine Braamskamp, has updated the law firm’s parental leave policy to promote equal opportunities for both women and men.

Under the policy, new fathers can now take fully paid leave of up to 20 weeks, a significant increase from the previous two-week allowance. This policy extends to all employees, not exclusively lawyers.

Gender inequality has been a long standing issue in the legal industry, as highlighted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) 2023 diversity data. According to City A.M., parenthood responsibilities significantly impact female representation in senior positions. As women commonly take the lead parental role, this can stall their careers while their male counterparts advance.  

The SRA's 2023 diversity data revealed an increase in the proportion of women in the legal profession, as women make up 53% of solicitors. However, the data also showed that only 37% of partners and 32% of full equity partners are women, illustrating how women continue to be underrepresented in senior positions in law firms.

Jenner & Block LLP isn’t the only firms implementing measures to improve equality. Earlier this year, UK law firm TLT LLP set a target to achieve 50% female representation at partner level by 2029. In the previous year, the law firm reached a 33% female representation among partners, surpassing its 2025 goal by two years.