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Fenwick & West senior associate Lisa Arent’s family includes two dogs, but that doesn’t mean they’re cut out of the firm’s health benefits plan. At Fenwick, employees can insure their pets as they do their children, although with some differences in coverage. “It’s not something you would expect from an employer or a law firm,” Arent said. “But it’s representative of Fenwick � it’s not a typical law firm.” The 248-lawyer Palo Alto, Calif., firm periodically dreams up new treats for its lawyers and employees. When “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” debuted, for example, the firm sent an envoy to wait in line and buy tickets for all of the firm’s lawyers and staffers. Then the firm bused them all to and from matinees. Such efforts have helped land Fenwick on Fortune magazine’s “Top 100 Best Places to Work” list for three years running, most recently ranking seventh. “We’re always trying,” said Cheri Vaillanchour, head of human resources at Fenwick. Vaillanchour didn’t know how many of Fenwick’s lawyers and staff have signed up for the pet health insurance policies. She can count herself, though. Her two new kittens, purebred Burmese with show-cat potential, will soon be covered for check-ups, surgeries or dentistry needs. And Arent, who enlisted her 4 1/2-year-old black Labrador, Tucker, and her seven-year-old golden retriever, Lacy, said she isn’t the only associate on her floor who has signed up. The insurance program, which ranges in monthly cost from $8.28 for puppies and kittens to $21.18 for older pets, looks a lot like plans offered for people — and sure enough, they operate using some of the same key principles. “When you get insurance while they’re young, it’s a lot cheaper,” said Vaillanchour.

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