Gleiss Lutz announces paid sabbaticals for all lawyers
19 July 2013
Leading German firm Gleiss Lutz has introduced paid sabbaticals for its lawyers, after they clock up just a few years at the firm.
Sabbaticals have been available to partners at the 280-lawyer firm for years. But now it has opened the scheme to its senior associates who, in their third and sixth years at the firm, will be allowed to take a paid month off work to pursue their dreams. From touring the backroads of America, to training dolphins, to working in a kibbutz, to playing Farmville for four weeks.
||That sabbatical in full
In a different world, associates at Herbert Smith Freehills
might have joined them. After a ten year alliance with Gleiss Lutz, Herbies asked for a merger with the German firm in 2011. Unfortunately Gleiss Lutz refused and ended the relationship
, taking its revolutionary schemes with it.
The sabbaticals were a direct response to associates' dissatisfaction with their work/life balance. Associates at UK firms, going by RollOnFriday's Firm of The Year survey, share their woe. Travers Smith
recently revealed it had missed the point by announcing it would tackle the problem by paying lawyers a special
bonus if it beasts them at anti-social hours
But UK firms have, so far, not put sabbaticals on the table. Dr Aleksander Schwartz, Gleiss Lutz's partner in charge of personnel, thinks they should. He said, "someone who can recharge his or her batteries will come
back to work with increased energy and more creative ideas
". And with a henna tattoo and a dubious Australian accent.