Attorney Affinity Groups
To support the unique professional growth, networking and business development opportunities of the diverse attorney community at Locke Lord, the Firm established and actively supports the following four attorney Affinity Groups:
Each Affinity Group is co-chaired by a senior attorney (usually a Partner) and a junior attorney and enjoys the support of an Executive Committee sponsor. Participation is open to those who are members of the relevant diversity community and allies of that community. The groups meet quarterly/bi-monthly and host events and activities that emphasize cultural, social and professional connection and support the recruitment and retention of diverse attorney talent.
Business Development Initiative
The Firm developed a mechanism for lawyers throughout its offices to forge relationships and develop business. Both diverse and non-diverse lawyers participate in this initiative, which is also designed to cultivate business development skills in Associates and help them reach developmental benchmarks. This is a tangible mechanism for the Firm to advance business development by its diverse lawyer population, in much the same manner that particular practice groups’ marketing efforts are supported. The initiative not only promotes Firm-wide business development and teamwork but also promotes another of its important goals — to provide junior lawyers with a business development infrastructure thereby increasing their success, retention and promotion.
Domestic Partner Benefits
Benefits afforded to our employees and their spouses extend to both same sex and opposite sex domestic partners.
Flexible Work Arrangements
We have for many years officially recognized flexible work schedules that permit lawyers to modify the customary daily schedules and billable hour requirements to suit various personal demands. At Locke Lord, our flexible work arrangement policy is expressly designed to avoid suspension of lawyers’ opportunities for professional growth and career development. The Firm’s policies provide for reduced-hour lawyers to attain or maintain full Partnership. This provides incentive for valued, experienced lawyers to remain with the Firm long term so that these professionals actively enjoy a career that includes both flexibility and upward mobility.
We recognize the significance of mentoring in a lawyer’s career. Though the days of formal legal apprenticeships have ended, formal and informal mentoring remain the primary avenues through which associates in law firms learn their craft, develop business and are promoted to partnership. We acknowledge that this process often occurs organically, but not as easily where similarities in background do not exist. As part of the Firm's Mentoring Program, all first- and second-year Associates have an assigned mentor Partner and Associate, who are responsible for helping integrate and guide the new Associate through their first two years in the Firm. During the Associate’s third year, a reporting Partner is assigned and serves as a liaison between the Partnership and the Associate.
Paid Family Leave
All lawyers are eligible for a total of up to 16 weeks of paid family leave. Additional unpaid leave is also available on a case-by-case basis.
Participation in the Firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts is an important criterion in evaluating Partners for annual compensation purposes. Each year, our Partners are assessed on their individual mentoring, diversity and inclusion-related and other similar efforts. The Firm is actively considering other mechanisms for encouraging every Partner to individually act toward increasing and sustaining diversity and inclusion.
The Women’s Initiative has as its mission to support and encourage the success of women at Locke Lord. Goals include hiring, promoting and retaining female lawyers, encouraging women to take leadership roles in the Firm and providing mentoring and networking opportunities. Women’s Initiative meetings are held throughout the year and address head-on the everyday issues facing women practicing law in a large firm.
In addition to our own Women’s Initiative, we are a member of the Chicago Coalition of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms and the Houston Bar Association Gender Fairness Initiative, which have as their goal the promotion of women in law firms. Further, Firm Chair Emeritus Jerry Clements serves on the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Council, a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide a collective voice for women of all backgrounds, classes and ages. Janis Loegering is a Founding Member of the Center for Women in Law, which was established in 2008 by a group of women devoted to advancing women in the law — from first-year law students to the most experienced and accomplished attorneys. The Firm also maximizes business development opportunities through support of and participation with the Corporate Counsel Women of Color and the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Women in Law.