Top 10 Family Friendly Law Firms as Judged by Yale Law Women
Summary: Yale Law Women has released their annual family friendliest law firms by looking at five key factors to compile their list.
There are some law firms out there that are more family friendly than others. Yale Law Women produces a list each year of these firms titled the “Family Friendly Firms List.” The goal of the list is to draw attention to gender disparities, monitor trends of family friendliness in law firms, highlight the progress firms have made, and identify areas for improvement. This is the 11th year the list has been produced.
The list is gathered by examining the policies related to part-time, parental leave, gender equity, billing requirements, professional development, and pro bono policies from 68 law firms. Only U.S. office locations are include in the data.
The top 10 law firms in no particular order are: Arnold & Porter; WilmerHale; Foley Hoag; Vinson & Elkins; Foley & Lardner; Morrison & Foerster; Goodwin Procter; O’Melveny & Myers; K&L Gates; and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo.
For policies related to part-time and flex-time, Yale Law Women looked at the numbers concerning whether part-time is allowed, if it is available to entry level employees, the percentage of part-time associates there are, the percentage of part-time partners there are, if there is a minimum percentage of full-time hours part-time employees need to work, if part-time employees are considered for bonuses, if part-time are compensated for working extra hours, and more. The top five firms rated in this area were also among the top 10 overall list.
The policies for parental leave primarily focuses on the number of paid weeks attorneys are given. From the information they gathered, the discovered that while parental leave is available, it is often discouraged at many firms. Only one firm among five with the best parental leave policies was also on the list of the top 10 family friendly firms – WilmerHale.
Gender equity is evaluated by looking at the numbers of male to female attorneys at different levels of the firm. Many maintain an equal standard at the associate level but then the number of females at higher levels within a firm drops down.
Foley & Lardner and WilmerHale were the two firms in the top 5 for billing and bonuses that were made it to the top 10 list. The factors regarding a firm’s policy of pro bono work counting toward billable hours was heavily weighted.
Professional development was the last factor that the group examined. Being able to count training hours as billable credit as well as receiving effective formal mentoring is important for attorneys looking to keep a balance in their life and time.