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Covington recognizes and fully supports the need to balance one's personal life and personal obligations with the demands of law practice. We are committed to excellence in the practice of law, but we are also committed to the proposition that our lawyers should enjoy fulfilling, enriching lives outside of practice. For some, this balance may involve an alternative work schedule that permits a reduced workload.
Covington has a long history of actively supporting alternative work schedules. It is the firm's policy to accommodate all reasonable requests for alternative work arrangements, consistent with the guidelines set forth below. We have had lawyers working on alternative schedules for more than 20 years, and currently more than 25 lawyers do so. Associates on alternative work schedules remain fully eligible for partnership consideration and continue to progress toward a partnership decision while working part-time, although the timing of such a decision may be affected by the lawyer's part-time status. A number of associates have become partners in the firm while working on a part-time schedule.
Lawyers often seek alternative work schedules in light of childcare or other family responsibilities. Of course, the firm fully supports such arrangements, and we work actively to accommodate them. The firm also supports alternative arrangements for lawyers who seek to further their professional or career development, or other important personal needs. In recent years, for instance, lawyers have taken part-time schedules to teach a class, to finish a Ph.D thesis, to engage in community service, and to work on a political campaign. We are flexible in working with lawyers to structure such arrangements, recognizing that in doing so we must also take account of staffing needs and client demands in developing a suitable balance.
The firm has designated partners in each of the firm's offices to consult on alternative work arrangements and to counsel and support lawyers who are working part-time or other alternative schedules. A variety of alternative schedules are acceptable, depending on individual circumstances. We encourage part-time schedules of at least 70% to 75% of a conventional workload, and such schedules should be at least 60% -- on the view that these levels provide sufficient involvement in firm and client matters to make the arrangements workable. For some lawyers, part-time arrangements may involve a reduced number of days that they come to the office each week; for others, a part-time schedule may involve a conventional work week on a reduced daily schedule.
Lawyers working reduced schedules will be compensated based on the relationship of the schedule selected to a typical workload. Associates and counsel working on a reduced schedule are eligible for bonuses on a pro-rated basis. Unless the provider of a benefit program requires a greater time commitment, lawyers who work reduced schedules will receive the benefits provided to lawyers working full-time (adjusted where appropriate), including life and medical insurance and vacation.