Work and Life Balance

Work and Life Balance

We cultivate a work environment that encourages lawyers to practice law in a manner consistent with the firm’s core values of quality, excellence and service to clients, while maintaining rewarding family and personal lives. This goal is rooted in the fundamental notion that our firm benefits from having a diverse group of lawyers who excel in the practice of law, as well as in other aspects of their lives. Therefore, we are committed to providing our lawyers with the support they need to balance their professional obligations with their personal lives. We offer alternative work arrangements that include part-time, flextime and remote work schedules, as well as generous parental and family leaves, subsidized emergency childcare, and the technology required for working outside of the office.

WilmerHale continues to be a leader in family friendly practices. We are regularly selected over the years as one of Yale Law Women’s Top Ten Family Friendly Firms, and we have been honored as a “firm of choice” in the Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers survey of “Best Law Firms for Women.” The “Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List” was created to celebrate firms who are the leaders in facilitating work/life balance for lawyers, and the Working Mother report examines the challenges facing women lawyers and recognizes firms that have instituted family-friendly benefits and programs that help women succeed.

As an inaugural signatory of the American Bar Association Well-Being Pledge for Legal Employers, we are committed to helping lawyers maintain positive mental health and combat substance abuse. To us, well-being pertains to emotional, physical and financial health, and achieving well-being is a broad and continuous process in which individuals strive to thrive in each dimension of their lives, including in their workplaces, families and communities. With these definitions in mind, we offer support to anyone in crisis and provide resources to promote the overall well-being of every individual in the WilmerHale community through health, well-being and crisis response policies and programs.

  • Alternative Work Arrangements


    The path of a lawyer’s career may not always follow a traditional track given family and personal obligations. Our lawyers can use alternative work arrangements to create the best match between their personal needs and their professional obligations and development. These arrangements provide our lawyers with flexibility in pursuing their goals of professional growth and advancement while meeting significant obligations outside the office. Several lawyers at the firm were elected to partnership while working part-time or on other alternative work schedules, and many of them continue to use such arrangements. When you interview with us, we welcome requests to introduce you to associates, counsel and partners who have made use of alternative work arrangements.

    Work and life balance is a constantly evolving issue. We encourage lawyers at the firm to let us know what types of arrangements would be most suited to them. In many instances, our formal policies evolved from situations in which lawyers simply came to firm leadership and asked to adjust their schedule in a way that worked for them.

  • Commitment, Communication and Flexibility


    Work and life balance rests ultimately not on formal policies, but on an approach to our practice that pays attention every day to how we manage the firm’s work, and that respects the different personal circumstances that we balance with our individual work. Finding the right balance between a challenging professional life and an enriching personal life requires commitment, communication and flexibility from the employee and from the firm. We value our colleagues as the talented individuals that they are and strive to create a collegial and team-oriented environment where everyone feels comfortable that they can be an active member of a family, have a life outside of work and pursue their own professional career path.

    Finally, the firm is a more collegial place for everyone when work and life balance is a shared value. The management of the firm has been tremendously supportive of these initiatives, which results in an atmosphere where lawyers can discuss and address work and life balance issues openly and therefore more effectively.

  • Work and Life Benefits

    • To care for a newborn or newly adopted child, lawyers may take parental leave for up to 18 weeks paid (total leave up to 12 consecutive months). 
    • To care for an immediate family member with a serious illness or injury, a lawyer may take family leave of up to 12 weeks paid (total leave up to 12 consecutive months).
    • Our Boston, New York and Washington DC offices offer onsite emergency childcare facilities. Our Denver, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco offices offer the use of offsite emergency childcare facilities. For all US offices, WilmerHale offers the Back-Up Care Program, which provides center-based childcare, in-home childcare, and in-home elder and adult care. This program offers 20 back-up visits per dependent per calendar year. In addition to back-up care, WilmerHale also offers parents who are returning from leave the use of our Return-to-Work Program. The program provides 60 consecutive days of infant care at a subsidized rate during a child’s first year. 
    • The firm offers onsite lactation/wellness rooms and Milk Stork breast milk shipping program for nursing moms who travel.
    • Lawyers may reduce their work schedule by up to 40% and receive pro-rata compensation.
    • The firm also provides lawyers with technology that allows them to work effectively without having to come into the office: laptops, mobile phones and remote network access.


Unless you are an existing client, before communicating with WilmerHale by e-mail (or otherwise), please read the Disclaimer referenced by this link.(The Disclaimer is also accessible from the opening of this website). As noted therein, until you have received from us a written statement that we represent you in a particular manner (an "engagement letter") you should not send to us any confidential information about any such matter. After we have undertaken representation of you concerning a matter, you will be our client, and we may thereafter exchange confidential information freely.

Thank you for your interest in WilmerHale.