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Working At Skadden

Attorney Development and Retention

Developing successful, thriving and engaged attorneys is a key component of our retention efforts — and one that permeates our focus on D&I. The array of professional and career development resources for associates and counsel that most directly align with our D&I goals includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • formal mentoring program for junior associates;
  • organized processes for staffing and distributing work assignments for associates;
  • Women's Leadership Forum for high-performing women counsel and senior associates;
  • affinity networks that implement a robust mix of professional development and cultural and social programs; and
  • inclusion training seminars for all attorneys and staff that build on the awareness and competencies.

Recruiting a Diverse Group

Law student hiring is a pillar of our D&I strategy. With vigor and focus, we consistently raise the bar on our approach to on-campus outreach and recruitment through several key programs described below.

Our Skadden 1L Scholars Program, established in 2012, is an important element of our on-campus recruitment strategy. The 11-week paid summer internship program is funded by Skadden and includes several weeks at our firm; a rotation at a firm client that demonstrates a strong interest in diversity and inclusion; and experience handling pro bono matters. The program, which is available in all of our U.S. offices, provides a meaningful way for Skadden to partner with our clients on increasing diversity in the legal profession’s talent pipeline and to raise the profile of diversity and inclusion as a priority on law school campuses. To date we have hired 104 1L Scholars from approximately 20 law schools, and more than half of the program's alumni have joined the firm as full-time associates. To our knowledge, we were the first law firm to develop a 1L program that incorporates law firm, in-house and pro bono experiences, and we are pleased that our program has become a model for firms across the country.

During the 2L hiring season each year, we conduct on-campus interviews or résumé collections at approximately 38 U.S. law schools or diversity job fairs. In the normal course of monitoring our applicant, call-back and offer-decision statistics throughout the hiring season, our attorney recruitment team keeps real-time watch on our diversity statistics. In the months preceding on-campus interviews and hiring, we sponsor programming for approximately 35 diverse law student affinity groups at close to two dozen law schools. Our attorneys forge connections with students prior to interviewing and hiring season and maintain the firm's visibility on campus. Our interactions range from the formal, such as panel discussions, job fairs, and résumé writing and career workshops in our offices, to the informal, including Skadden-hosted dinners and lunches.

Work/Life Resources

Skadden recognizes the value of providing assistance to our attorneys as they strive to balance work and personal responsibilities. Two programs, FRM (Flexible Return from Maternity) and Sidebar, are examples of the support we offer to our attorneys.

FRM

FRM (pronounced “firm”) provides greater flexibility to women, and men who are primary caregivers, returning from parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child. The program allows participants to design their own return schedule — either reduced hours or a combination of office and home days — during a defined period of time, up to one year. Nearly 60 percent of eligible parents have opted to utilize the FRM program since its inception.

Sidebar

Through Sidebar, attorneys in good standing may leave the firm for up to three years with the expectation that they will return at the end of that period, consistent with the needs of their respective departments. Firm programs such as CLE seminars and networking events provide Sidebar participants with opportunities to remain connected to their Skadden colleagues.

Additional benefits include:

  • parental leave
  • back-up childcare and eldercare
  • domestic partner health benefits
  • reduced hours program
  • mothers’ rooms, specially designated for the use of nursing mothers
  • LifeWorks, a resource and referral program that provides contacts, information and practical solutions for a multitude of personal issues, from finding a pet-sitter to coping with a family problem
  • Work/Life Week, an annual recognition of National Work & Family Month that offers seminars on a broad range of topics, including eldercare, parenting and finances
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