Bristol-based Bond Pearce is in the midst of a radical overhaul of its career structure.
The £40m-turnover firm hopes to provide alternative promotion paths for assistants and associates, who across the profession are eschewing partner status in favour of a greater work-life balance.
Partner and head of HR Tony Askham said: "This is about addressing two major issues for us: the requirement for work-life balance and the fact that a substantial proportion of our lawyers are female. Inevitably that means they're going to want to be more flexible about how and when they work."
Proposals include introducing new roles, including senior associate, as well as increasing the number of people able to work from home. The review will conclude by the end of 2007.
The firm is also considering introducing an internal legal skills and content training programme for assistants at the three to five years' experience level and seeking external accreditation for that and for an existing programme for assistants with between zero and two years' experience.
A recent YouGov survey was commissioned by The Lawyer revealed that only 52 per cent of associates working in £25m to £50mturnover law firms aspire to partnership (The Lawyer, 29 January 2007).