NALP Directory of Legal Employers

Directory Year: 2021

Cooley LLP - Washington, District Of Columbia

Hours & Work Arrangements

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Is there a minimum billable hour expectation? Yes
If yes, what is the minimum? 1,950
Is billable hour credit given for pro bono work? Yes
Is there a maximum that will be credited? No
If yes, what is the maximum?
For bonus consideration, is a pro bono hour equivalent to a required hour? Yes
Hours policy details

In order to be eligible for a discretionary bonus, one must bill a minimum of 1950 hours annually.

Cooley’s diversity, equity & inclusion billable hours credit program - Intended to strengthen and uphold the firm’s commitment to building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace by recognizing those who contribute valuable time to our efforts, all associates, technical advisors and patent agents are eligible to receive up to 50 hours of billable credit for qualified activities.

Cooley’s Shadow Program - Intended to facilitate additional on-the-job development opportunities for associates to learn by observing experienced lawyers’ interactions with clients, opposing counsel, witnesses, judges, arbitrators, regulators, and others in the course of day-to-day practice. All technical advisors, patent agents, trainees, legal consultants and associates, are eligible to participate in this program. After obtaining approval from the experienced lawyer that the activity qualifies as a shadowing activity, up to 50 hours annually will be treated as billable time for productivity and bonus eligibility.

Contributing to Firm Culture - Cooley values the many contributions lawyers make to the firm in order to promote good citizenship. Time spent in areas such as recruiting, training, mentoring and business development is pivotal to our continued success, aligns with our firm values and helps to strengthen our culture. To increase awareness of the investment of time in essential non-billable activities, all attorneys are encouraged to utilize specific time entry codes for citizenship activities.

Recent hours history

Average annual associate hours worked in 2019
Average annual associate hours worked in 2020
Average annual associate billable hours worked in 2019
Average annual associate billable hours worked in 2020

Part-time options

Is part-time allowed? Yes
Is part-time available to entry-level? Case-by-case
Is there a minimum percentage of full-time hours that a part-time attorney must work? Yes
Are attorneys who work part-time and exceed their agreed upon part-time hours compensated in some manner for the additional hours? Yes

To ensure parity in compensation, Cooley's base compensation true-up policy allows for those working a reduced schedule to earn additional base compensation should they work in excess of their scheduled FTE in any given calendar year.

Are attorneys who work part-time given bonus consideration? Yes

Number of part-time lawyers

Number of male part-time associates 1
Number of female part-time associates 4
Number of male part-time partners/members 0
Number of female part-time partners/members 0
Number of male part-time other lawyers 4
Number of female part-time other lawyers 9

Part-time policies

Do you have a written part-time policy for associates? Yes
Do you have a written part-time policy for partners? No
Eligibility for alternative work schedules determined by

Chief Legal Talent Officer

Part-time advancement

What is the impact of working part-time as an associate, if any, on an associate's progression toward partner?

Cooley recognizes that, for any number of reasons, an attorney may need to work a flexible or reduced work schedule. By facilitating work-life integration through alternative work schedules, the firm and our clients benefit from the recruitment and retention of experienced attorneys while the attorney retains the opportunity for continued professional growth, training and career advancement.

Working an alternative schedule will not preclude an attorney from being considered for admission to the partnership. However, the time frame for such consideration may be extended depending upon the factors pertinent to each attorney who avails himself or herself of an alternative schedule. Such factors include, but may not be limited to, the number of separate reduced schedules, the years in practice when the alternative schedule(s) commenced, the duration and FTE percentage of the reduced schedule(s) and the impact of reduced schedule(s) on the pace and quality of professional growth.

Can an associate be promoted to partner while working on a part-time schedule? Yes
In the past five years, have attorneys made partner who have worked or are currently working alternative schedules with your organization? Yes
Can a partner work on a part-time schedule? Yes

Other alternative work options

Please describe any other alternative work arrangements:

Cooley understands the importance of maintaining a culture which accommodates a need for attorneys to "ramp up" and "ramp down" based on their professional and personal commitments. This kind of flexibility allows our attorneys to construct a part-time schedule that helps them balance their personal lives with their professional development. 

Some of our attorneys choose to work a variable hour schedule as a separate career track from the traditional associate route.

To ease the transition for those preparing for and returning from a paid or unpaid leave of absence extending at least 12 consecutive weeks, non-partner attorneys, patent agents and patent technical advisors will have their billable hours threshold reduced by 30% of their current FTE schedule with no reduction in current base compensation for a period of 20 business days prior to the start of their leave and 60 business days upon return. Discretionary year-end bonuses will not be pro-rated as a result of this reduced schedule.

Following the Ramp Up period noted above, attorneys have the option to continue to work on a reduced schedule (50% ,60%, 70% or 80%), without prior approval, for an additional 3 months, although compensation will be adjusted accordingly. The level of reduced schedule may need to be discussed to fit the needs of the practice. While the official approval process is waived, advanced notice is required.

To ensure parity in compensation, Cooley’s base compensation true-up policy allows for those working a reduced schedule to earn additional base compensation should they work in excess of their scheduled FTE in any given calendar year.

Additionally, in 2014, we piloted the OnRamp Fellowship program, a re-entry platform that matches experienced women returning to the workforce after a hiatus with law firm and in-house legal departments. We continue to hire OnRamp Fellows on a rolling basis.

Does your organization have a written alternative work option policy (e.g., flex-time, remote, etc.)? Yes
Does your organization have an alternative track adviser? No
Are attorneys who work alternative schedules given bonus consideration? Yes

Non-traditional Track Attorney Info

Does your organization have attorneys on a non-traditional track? Yes
Non-traditional track attorneys - comments
Is there a separate point of contact at your organization for this type of position? No
If yes, please provide contact information
What title(s) does your organization use for non-traditional track attorneys? (check all that apply) Staff attorney|Other
Do you hire entry-level attorneys for non-traditional track positions? Case-by-case
In which practice areas do you hire non-traditional track attorneys?


What is the minimum billable hour requirement for non-traditional track attorneys?


Please include any additional information about non-traditional track positions (including mentoring, evaluations, billable hours, training, benefits, opportunities for pro bono work, etc.)