Elder care

There’s more than one way to make sure your lawyers work harder.

Instead of standing over them with your WIP, you could always take a leaf out of Bryan Cave’s new soft and fuzzy book. On Sunday (1 June), the St Louis firm will launch a programme aimed squarely at helping the firm’s associates balance the ever-competing demands of work and life.

But this time it’s not even their life; it’s the life of their parents.

“A number of our people have elderly family members who may have had a fall or been taken seriously ill,” says Bryan Cave’s chief human resources officer, Lori Johnson. “Up until now, these lawyers will have scrambled to get home or to the hospital, often in other states or even in other countries. This new service will either find them in-house assistance to help an elderly person with their needs or, if it’s required, a nurse to help with medical care.”

Employees who sign up get 20 days a year of adult in-home care at $4 an hour provided by employer-sponsored care business, Bright Horizons. The rest of the cost is covered by Bryan Cave

Bryan Cave isn’t the first firm to offer elder care, as it’s known. But it might just be one of the few at the vanguard of a new trend among forward-thinking law firms.

“I think so,” says Johnson. “Obviously we’re looking to keep people at work and focused and this is just another way to take some of the pressure off.”

If it helps with that, at four bucks an hour, it sounds like a good plan.