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Work/Life Programming

We recognize that balancing the demands of professional and personal life can be challenging at times, and we want our lawyers to enjoy satisfaction in both arenas. That is why we offer a solid support system and extensive work/life benefits. The Firm is also engaged in an ongoing conversation about the practices that will best help our lawyers experience fulfillment in both their careers and their personal lives.

Balance For All

All our lawyers—regardless of whether they have children—have obligations and interests outside of work. We want everyone at the Firm to have a fulfilling personal life and maintain his or her health, family ties, friendships and overall wellness. To that end, we offer our employees support throughout their life stages, whether they are buying a home, caring for a pet or participating in a community-service project.

Financial Support

To assist our attorneys as they pursue financial goals, such as buying a home, Cravath has entered banking partnerships that offer support and discounts. The Chase Manhattan Preferred Mortgage Program is an exclusive program designed to save employees time and money when purchasing a home or refinancing the mortgage on their current residences. The innovative program offers personalized service, a wide array of products and money-saving discounts not available to the general public. Associates are also eligible to participate in our Down Payment Loan Program, which enables them to borrow a portion of the down payment for a house, condominium or cooperative, with the Firm acting as guarantor.

Community Participation

In addition to encouraging our lawyers’ personal interests, Cravath offers many opportunities to participate in community service activities through the Firm, including the annual March of Dimes of Walk, the reading-mentorship program Read Ahead and The Fresh Air Fund’s “Counselor For a Day” program. The Firm also works with students from The Brooklyn School for Law & Justice high school throughout the year on activities like mock trials and SAT preparation.

Health and Wellness

Recognizing the importance of physical fitness and self-care, the Firm subsidizes gym memberships and has several sports clubs dedicated to softball, sailing, basketball and more. Cravath also participates in the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge road race and hosts Weight Watchers at Work meetings.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a confidential 24/7 service provided at no cost to employees and their household members. Services range from face-to-face counseling for both work and personal concerns to finding an apartment to identifying elder care help.

Generous Paid Leave

For both men and women, we provide four weeks of paid child care leave and, if applicable, an additional eight weeks of primary caregiver leave following a birth or an adoption. For women who give birth, these leaves are in addition to six to eight weeks of paid maternity leave, resulting in up to 18 to 20 weeks of paid leave benefits following the birth of a child.

On-Site Child Care

Opened in 1989, our Children’s Center was the first employer-run on-site child-care facility in New York City. This special place, recently renamed The Christine Beshar Children’s Center and now managed by Bright Horizons, is available to all employees and provides back-up child care when regular child care arrangements fail—for example, if a child’s school is closed or work requires the employee parent to be at the office on a weekend or holiday. Upon returning to work after the birth or adoption of a child, all attorneys can bring their babies to the Children’s Center full-time for up to six months, space permitting. Parents may also use the facility as back-up child-care when regular arrangements fall through. Because our Children’s Center is on the premises, parents can easily drop in to feed an infant in the nursing room or otherwise attend to their children.

A Child-Friendly Culture

At lunch, parents and children are welcome to dine in the Cravath Cafeteria, which has a children’s menu, high chairs and booster seats. Our parents appreciate the opportunity to introduce their children to the Firm. Parents at the Firm say this makes it easier to initiate conversations about family commitments—doctor’s appointments, soccer games, etc.—with their colleagues.

The Firm also hosts special family-friendly events. Each year, partners, associates and summer associates bring their families and guests to our annual “Zoo Party” evening at the Central Park Zoo. Additionally, we have an annual Cravath Family Day, where employees and their families and guests have attended events such as the Big Apple Circus and School of Rock the Musical.

Flexible Work Arrangements

We provide flexible work arrangements to help facilitate associates’ ability to manage family responsibilities or other obligations. Part-time work arrangements are available on a case-by-case basis. All part-time associates who work from home are provided with a computer and a combination printer/fax machine. We also have attorneys who work full-time schedules, but have flexibility regarding when and where they work.

An Ongoing Dialogue

Every year, Cravath hosts a policy lunch to ensure that members of the Firm are fully informed about—and encouraged to use—the work/life benefits we offer. The panel is open to all associates and summer associates, and includes a discussion of the Firm’s programs that relate to buying a home, becoming a parent, working an alternative schedule and other programs and benefits that support associates throughout their time at the Firm.

When parents at the Firm identify an issue that they would like the Firm to address, they are encouraged to share their ideas. For instance, after learning about an increase in the usage of the Children’s Center nursing room, the Firm designed and created a space on a practice floor for employees to have access to an additional private room specifically equipped for lactation purposes. Since that time, the Firm has created a third nursing room to better support working parents.

The Working Parents Group

In 2007, a small group of associates began meeting to discuss their experiences as parents at the Firm, exchanging information and insights about balancing career and family, child care arrangements and working part-time. Since then, membership has grown significantly, as parents, and those who are considering becoming parents, offer each other ongoing peer support and informal networking.

The Firm provides a monthly lunch and meeting space for the associate-only group. The group also hosts speakers who have addressed topics such as financial and estate planning. These meetings and events are open to all associates and summer associates.

Religious Observance

The Firm strives to maintain an environment that enables our attorneys to engage in religious observance and practice. For example, to help an associate practice his faith during business hours, we created a quiet space for reflection and prayer, which is available to any employee. Additionally, each lawyer is entitled to use personal time, not charged to vacation time, for religious observance.