Lauren Gerber

Yale Law Women Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

Here at Yale Law Women (YLW), Yale Law School’s resident women’s group, we have just completed our third annual review of family friendly policies at the nation’s top law firms. After surveying Vault’s Top 100 firms, we have analyzed the data to produce YLW’s Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List.

The Top Ten, in alphabetical order, are:
Arnold & Porter (Washington, DC)

Covington & Burling (Washington, DC)

Debevoise & Plimpton (New York, NY)

Dorsey & Whitney (Minneapolis, MN)

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Los Angeles, CA)

Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago, IL)

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (New York, NY)

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo (Boston, MA)

Perkins Coie (Seattle, WA)

WilmerHale (Boston, MA)

The YLW Board congratulates the Top Ten firms who are leaders in facilitating work-life balance, as well as all the firms who took the time to participate in our survey. By performing a critical assessment of their family friendly practices, these firms are taking steps toward improving quality of life for attorneys.

We also compiled some statistics from the survey responses. Key results include:
  • Average percentage of female associates: 44%
  • Average percentage of female partners: 19%
  • Average maternity leave: 16 weeks
  • Average paternity leave: 8 weeks
  • Average percentage of partners working part-time: 4%
  • Average percentage of associates working part-time: 7%
These figures are alternatively exciting and disheartening. Results in categories like parental leave indicate that the legal profession is implementing policies to support families. Other results, like the percentage of female partners relative to female associates, demonstrate the continued need for better family friendly practices.

Despite these challenges, we are confident that the Top Ten List will generate positive change. Firms now have an opportunity to compare their policies to those of their peers. Practicing attorneys can use the List to advocate for improved work-life balance, and current law students can better assess their future employers.

We know that you, as a reader of Ms. JD, recognize the importance of this issue and the need for improvement. We hope you will distribute this message to your friends and colleagues in the legal profession. By emphasizing the need for family friendly practices, we can all work toward improving firm policies nationwide.

If you would like more information about the Top Ten List, please visit our website at www.yale.edu/ylw.

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