The 2015 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers 50 Best Law Firms for Women | Working Mother

The 2015 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers 50 Best Law Firms for Women

law firms 2015

Click here to read the Executive Summary for aggregated data on the 2015 Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women.

Click here to read about how the Best Law Firms keep women attorneys from quitting.

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Baker & McKenzie
Global

This firm’s Global Gender Initiative has set a serious goal: to see women become 30% of equity partners here. To that end, management offers female attorneys dedicated sponsorship, coaching and education programs, as well as myriad women’s networks and diversity committees.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 34%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

Blank Rome
Philadelphia, PA

Connections form at the gatherings of this firm’s Women’s Forum, where female attorneys trade tips, talk challenges and expand their networks. Alternative work schedules help many juggle responsibilities; a new OnRamp Fellowship program facilitates reentry to the firm after extended breaks.

  • Female Equity Partners 14%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 20%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 5%

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings
Birmingham, AL

Multicultural women have an ally in this firm’s Diversity Advisory Committee, which tracks their utilization and amplifies attention around those being underused. In 2014, associate evaluations began emphasizing work quality over hours billed (highlighting more women for partnership).

  • Female Equity Partners 14%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 17%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 4%

Chapman and Cutler
Chicago, IL

Attorneys at this firm can adjust their hours, telecommute at least one day a week and reduce their schedules by up to 20% without delaying the amount of time it takes to make partner. New mothers earn 16 fully paid weeks off and may phase back to work for six months after leave ends.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 33%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 4%

Cooley
Palo Alto, CA

Joe Conroy, the longtime CEO of this firm, is vocal about the need to advance women, who currently represent 25% of practice group chairs here. A women’s initiative provides mentoring to female associates; additional events explore sponsorship, rainmaking and pay equity.

  • Female Equity Partners 22%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 9%

Crowell & Moring
Washington, DC

Launched in 2014, this firm’s one-year Leadership Development Program provides coaching to equity partners and educates them about talent development and industry economics. Women fill 66% of top positions here, among them firm (and executive committee) chair Angela Styles.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 26%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 14%

Davis Wright Tremaine
Seattle, WA

In 2014, primary caregivers began taking 15 fully paid weeks off after a birth or adoption (up from 12) and reducing billable hours for two months afterward. Also new: flex and telecommuting schedules; special mentoring and sponsorship offerings for women; a $1,200 wellness bonus.

  • Female Equity Partners 23%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 27%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 11%

Debevoise & Plimpton
New York, NY

Informed by extensive research, benchmarking and alumnae interviews, the new Women’s Task Force introduced by this firm in 2014 promotes programs that develop, retain and advance female attorneys. Alternative schedules have been used by 50% of women leaders here at some point.

  • Female Equity Partners 18%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 7%

DLA Piper
Global

Upgraded policies make it easier than ever for attorneys at this firm to telecommute or flex, compress and reduce their hours; a coordinator helps them file requests. New programs provide counseling to junior women attorneys and extend business coaching to mid-level female leaders.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 11%

Dorsey & Whitney
Minneapolis, MN

Female attorneys at all career stages appreciate this firm’s high-level coaching programs, three dedicated mentoring groups and parental leave consultations. Women direct or co-direct 32% of its most important client teams and make up 43% of its management committee.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 23%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 8%

Drinker Biddle & Reath
Philadelphia, PA

Training starts early at this firm, where first-year associates have no billable-hour requirements for four months, and instead immerse themselves in client development, mentoring and education. Mary Devlin Capizzi, a mom of six, recently became one of the firm’s three executive partners.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 18%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 7%

Duane Morris
Philadelphia, PA

Junior and mid-level female attorneys
are mentored by senior partners in this firm’s one-year Springboard to Success leadership program. The in-house Women’s Initiative holds seminars on overcoming challenges and effectively mastering branding and communication.

  • Female Equity Partners 14%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 29%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 12%

Epstein Becker Green
New York, NY

Long tenures are common at this firm, where attorneys say colleagues are respectful of their time and where working reduced or flexible hours does not affect promotion to partner. The Work/Life Balance Working Group helps women navigate the office-home divide.

  • Female Equity Partners 21%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 34%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

Faegre Baker Daniels
Global

For more than a decade, women on reduced schedules have made equity partner at this firm; an annualized billable-hour system and competency-based promotion model further emphasize flexibility. Business Q&As and workshops hosted by the Women’s Forum for Achievement inspire.

  • Female Equity Partners 23%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 31%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 12%

Farella Braun + Martel
San Francisco, CA

Valuing its female associates highly, this firm encourages them to assume leadership positions at work and in the community, to get involved in presenting seminars and co-authoring articles and generally to pursue increased visibility. In 2014, 43% of its female attorneys reduced their hours.

  • Female Equity Partners 20%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 44%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 28%

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner
Washington, DC

Devoted to intellectual property law, this firm hires people with STEM experience and pays well. Attorneys who work 60% or 80% time are eligible for partnership; family and medical leaves come with reduced billable-hour targets (but full bonuses).

  • Female Equity Partners 18%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 36%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 11%

Foley & Lardner
Milwaukee, WI

At a new retreat held in 2014, senior leaders brainstormed ways to support careers of diverse attorneys. Partners provide business development coaching and sponsorship to female associates and senior counsel; Partners’ history of staffing women on key assignments is tracked.

  • Female Equity Partners 13%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 21%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 7%

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
New York, NY

Mothers cheered when this firm recently upped primary caregiver leave for attorneys to 16 fully paid weeks from 12. Its women’s initiative provides mentoring and professional development opportunities and works with nonprofits to accelerate members’ advancement.

  • Female Equity Partners 35%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 45%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 10%

Fredrikson & Byron
Minneapolis, MN

“There’s an expectation that women will be successful here,” says Leigh-Erin Irons, co-chair of the associate hiring committee at this firm, where 43% of current practice group leaders are female. Its Counsel for Women generates client development events.

  • Female Equity Partners 35%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 31%

Gibbons
Newark, NJ

The Gibbons Leadership Academy helps female attorneys at this firm set goals, forge networks and expand their clientele. That’s vital, especially since so many of them hold key roles here: Women represent 30% of all executive committee members and chair 33% of departments.

  • Female Equity Partners 13%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 19%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 10%

Goodwin Procter
Boston, MA

Busy women who work for this firm arrange their schedules to meet their needs; those with children access free backup day care and affordable in-home care. The new Owning Your Career program for female senior associates and counsel explores risk-taking and self-promotion.

  • Female Equity Partners 16%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 30%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 7%

Hanson Bridgett
San Francisco, CA

Client service matters more than face time at this firm, where three working moms on reduced schedules made equity partner in January. All attorneys operate off-site at some point during the year; free nutrition coaching, on-site massages and meditation classes support wellness.

  • Female Equity Partners 31%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 38%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 25%

Hogan Lovells US
Washington, DC

This firm’s new global Agile Working Group ensures that alternative work options are available across all offices. Associates may pursue 1,800- or 1,950-billable-hour career tracks; partners become eligible for paid three-month sabbaticals after 10 years.

  • Female Equity Partners 20%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 31%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 5%

Holland & Hart
Denver, CO

Groundbreaking at its 1986 launch, this firm’s maternity leave policy was just updated to offer primary caregivers 12 to 16 fully paid weeks off (instead of 8). Working reduced hours doesn’t preclude partnership; the firm is moving away from a lockstep system.

  • Female Equity Partners 28%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 7%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 22%

Hunton & Williams
Washington, DC

Office discussion circles, networking dinners and one-on-one mentoring sessions give female attorneys at this firm a sense of community. Biennial retreats for women partners generate new development ideas; sponsorship, training programs and practice planning propel top talent.

  • Female Equity Partners 18%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 16%

Ice Miller
Indianapolis, IN

Always influential, the Women’s Initiative at this firm bolsters female attorneys’ business development acumen, ramps up their training, exposes them to new ideas and facilitates professional alliances. For the past five years, 21% of newly elected equity partners here have been women.

  • Female Equity Partners 25%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 24%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 8%

Katten Muchin Rosenman
Chicago, IL

Customized work options, subsidized backup care and lengthy sabbaticals lower stress at this firm. In 2014, it increased primary caregiver leave to 14 fully paid weeks (from 12.5) and doubled secondary caregiver leave to four weeks; leave-transition coaching is being piloted.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 28%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 8%

Kaye Scholer
New York, NY

Wowing in its list debut, this firm offers fantastic mentoring and networking opportunities, six affinity groups, tons of alternative work arrangements and 18 weeks of fully paid primary caregiver leave. Top women include Laurie Abramowitz, chair of the tax department.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 4%

King & Spalding
Atlanta, GA

Helping female attorneys more easily transition into Partnership roles is the objective of this firm’s K&S Women’s Leadership Forum, a 10-program series (introduced last year) that explores topics such as resilience, entrepreneurship and work-family integration.

  • Female Equity Partners Not answered
  • Female Nonequity Partners Not answered
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 5%

Kirkland & Ellis
Chicago, IL

Women have so far earned 31% of promotions to equity partner here this year (up from 25% in 2014). Flextime, telecommuting and reduced-billable-hour schedules are supported by a network of sponsors, mentors and administrators; special subcommittees tackle work life issues.

  • Female Equity Partners 13%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 29%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 3%

Latham & Watkins
Global

What a year this firm had in 2014. It extended formal mentoring to all associates, launched a leadership academy for female partners and turned its Women Enriching Business initiative (designed for female executives and attorneys) into an official committee, broadening its reach.

  • Female Equity Partners 17%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 38%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 5%

Lindquist & Vennum
Minneapolis, MN

In 2014, this firm revamped and formalized its alternative-hours policy, making clear that attorneys can work remotely, go part-time or ramp their hours up and down for as long as they like while remaining eligible for benefits, bonuses and partnership promotions.

  • Female Equity Partners 20%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 52%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 15%

Lowenstein Sandler
Roseland, NJ

Effective networking can change attorneys’ careers. This firm has a new nine-month program in which associates and counsel attend 18 professional events and are mentored on their social skills by senior colleagues; female nonequity partners make contacts in external leadership courses.

  • Female Equity Partners 17%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 18%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
Los Angeles, CA

With a solid presence in this firm’s eight U.S. offices, the Manatt Women’s Initiative invites female business executives and experts to speak to members about succeeding professionally and avoiding career self-sabotage; intriguing panel discussions explore what it’s like to be the boss.

  • Female Equity Partners 20%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 26%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

McDermott Will & Emery
Chicago, IL

Long-range planning readies women to become equity partners at this firm, providing those in nonequity roles with eight months of career coaching and encouraging them to share their ideas. Attorneys may work 60% to 80% time before and after partner admission.

  • Female Equity Partners 19%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 38%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

Morrison & Foerster
San Francisco, CA

Partner-track attorneys can scale back their hours as much as 33% here; a new program guides them in doing so and advises their practice group heads and supervising partners. The Women’s Strategy Committee compares diversity metrics with internal goals and promotes female leadership.

  • Female Equity Partners 18%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 20%

Munger, Tolles & Olson
Los Angeles, CA

Balancing kids, community activities and work means needing to stay on top of things. This firm helps attorneys do that by providing on-site child care (at HQ), $15/day center-based backup care and $6/hour in-home dependent care, plus on/off-ramp mentoring and a new parenting group.

  • Female Equity Partners 22%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 3%

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg
Chicago, IL

Special business development training offered to this firm’s associates in 2014 examined ways to attract clients, connect with peers and conduct “elevator pitches.” Alternate career tracks and work life balance are covered by management in every performance review.

  • Female Equity Partners 11%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 27%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 18%

Norton Rose Fulbright
Houston, TX

There’s a strong system in place to lift up women at this firm. Its Career Strategies Program nurtures female senior associates toward Partnership, and its Women in Norton Rose Fulbright Leadership Committee develops female partners. Attorneys may work nontraditional or reduced hours.

  • Female Equity Partners 21%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 31%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 8%

O’Melveny & Myers
New York, NY

All-female and mostly female trial teams have recently scored some of the biggest wins at this firm; this year, 44% of equity partner promotions have gone to women. The biennial Women’s Leadership Academy event teaches female attorneys to be confident, resilient, visionary leaders.

  • Female Equity Partners 14%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 50%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 7%

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
Global

Giving women a boost up the career ladder here are new initiatives launched in 2014. The Partner Sponsor Program highlights professional planning for junior Partners, and the Business Development Coaching Program helps partners forge client relationships.

  • Female Equity Partners 20%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 10%

Perkins Coie
Seattle, WA

Female Partners here recently met one-on-one with the CFO and partner compensation committee chair to find out how to achieve their desired earnings goals. New moms earn 14 fully paid weeks off, plus 140 “legal credit” hours (which can add four weeks).

  • Female Equity Partners 15%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 36%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 15%

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
New York, NY

Deborah Baum and Sheila Harvey were appointed to chair two of this firm’s three legal departments in 2014. A special board committee meets with client team and practice leaders to ensure female attorneys get appropriate assignments and mentoring.

  • Female Equity Partners 18%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 24%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 21%

Quarles & Brady
Milwaukee, WI

Forgo the 24/7 grind at this firm, where 11% of attorneys work reduced hours and doing so is no obstacle to equity partner promotion. Moms access lengthy maternity leaves, phase-back arrangements, “quiet rooms” for breastfeeding and 80 hours of backup care annually.

  • Female Equity Partners 23%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 42%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 11%

Reed Smith
Global

Excellent training programs, a solid women’s network and flexible schedules recommend this firm, where anyone work- ing 60% time earns full benefits. Maternity leave lasts 16 fully paid weeks, and adoption leave is 10; afterward, parents may work reduced hours for three months.

  • Female Equity Partners 23%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 22%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 9%

Schiff Hardin
Chicago, IL

At this firm, partners’ compensation is impacted by how well they manage others’ work life issues and diverse backgrounds; women equity partners share their own experiences and wisdom with female associates in the “Stories and Lessons Learned” series.

  • Female Equity Partners 23%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 34%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

Seyfarth Shaw
Chicago, IL

In a first for this firm, five women made equity partner here in January, outpacing their male colleagues, who earned four spots. The Seyfarth Women’s Network provides coaching and development opportunities to nonequity partners and addresses issues in all female attorneys’ careers.

  • Female Equity Partners 15%
  • Female Nonequity Partners 28%
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 3%

Sidley Austin
Global

Attorneys can use flexible schedules indefinitely at this firm without losing any access to assignments or promotions; this year, one-on-one work life balance coaching is being launched for those with kids. Dedicated mentoring sessions, leadership events and coaching aid retention for women.

  • Female Equity Partners 22%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 7%

Vinson & Elkins
Houston, TX

Experienced parents mentor new ones at this firm, which gives attorneys at least 12 weeks off after a birth or adoption and provides subsidized infant and backup care. Everyone is able to work remotely or adjust hours to meet personal and professional obligations.

  • Female Equity Partners 16%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 6%

WilmerHale
Washington, DC

Client events, workshops and training programs hosted by this firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative accelerate the devel- opment of female Partners, associates and counsel. In 2014, 35% of committee chairs here were female, as were 28% of department and practice group heads.

  • Female Equity Partners 25%
  • Female Nonequity Partners N/A
  • Lawyers Working Reduced Hours 8%

Methodology
The 2015 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers 50 Best Law Firms for Women application includes more than 300 questions about workforce representation; time off and leaves; child care; flexibility; leadership, compensation and advancement of women; and development and retention of women. Profiles are culled from the applications and reflect 2014 data.

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