These Law Firms Get All the Gold Stars
Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers, LLC have released their annual list of the 50 best U.S. law firms for women. The firms that made the cut are leading the way in promoting and retaining female talent, supporting flexible work arrangements, and getting women into top leadership positions.Six firms are new to the list in 2015; the other 44 firms have been recognized for at least two years running.Some notable trends among the 2015 winners:
- The higher up you go, the less women there are. Women are 58 percent of staff attorneys at the winning firms, but only 20 percent of all equity partners. (That’s still better than the national average of 17 percent women equity partners at big law firms.)
- Women’s representation at the top has risen since 2008—but not by much. Women were 16 percent of equity partners and 22 percent of non-equity partners in 2008. As of 2015, those numbers have risen to 20 percent and 29 percent, respectively.
- More women at the top are making it rain. Each winning firm was asked to identify its top ten “rainmakmers”—the partners who are generating the most revenue from clients. In 2015, 16 percent of firms reported that three or more women are in their top ten rainmakers; that’s up from 11 percent in 2014.
- Even at the best firms, employees are hesitant to take advantage of flexible work arrangements and parental leave policies. For instance, all of the winning firms offer flex-time, but only 23 percent of employees use it. When it comes to parental leave, firms offer an average of six weeks of paternity leave, but new dads take an average of just three weeks off.
- Winning firms have stepped up their women’s networking and mentoring efforts. All of the 2015 winners offer women-specific networking groups, mentoring circles, and business development initiatives. The vast majority of winners also offer targeted mentoring and sponsorship programs.
So we do have a ways to go before we reach gender parity in the legal profession, but we applaud Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers for celebrating the firms leading the charge. Congratulations to all of the winners, and a special nod to Quarles & Brady, one of our launch event sponsors!