Yale Law Women

Press Release: Yale Law Women Announces 2013 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

Yale Law Women (YLW) is pleased to announce its eighth annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List. Yale Law Women produces its annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List to monitor trends in family friendliness in the Vault 100, raise awareness of gender disparities within the legal profession, highlight progress and innovative solutions, and identify areas for improvement. We believe that the legal profession should allow all attorneys to cultivate their best selves in their work and balance a challenging and engaging career with personal interests and obligations.

The 2013 Top Ten Firms, in alphabetical order, are:

Arnold & Jaworski

Fulbright & Jaworski

Goodwin Procter

Hunton & Williams

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Perkins Coie

Reed Smith

Shearman & Sterling

Sidley Austin

Squire Sanders

Below are key areas of progress and opportunities for improvement from this year’s survey results.  We hope that these findings will enhance awareness and dialogue about family friendliness and gender equality in the legal profession.

Part-time and flex-time policies: a key component of family friendliness

  • In the concurrent survey of YLS alumni, 80% of respondents ranked part-time and flex-time policies as the most important factors for evaluating a law firm’s family friendliness.
  • All participating firms offered part-time options, and all but one firm offered flex-time options. However, only 22% of attorneys who utilized these options in 2012 were men.
  • On average, part-time associates billed 60% of the hours of their full-time counterparts.
  • Most firms adjusted compensation when part-time attorneys billed more hours than planned. 
  • 11% of newly-promoted partners were part-time or had been part-time at some point.

Family care: despite moves toward gender neutrality, disparities persist

  • Several firms have moved away from gendered leave policies to provide “primary caregiver leave” and “secondary caregiver leave,” rather than maternity or paternity leave.  
  • Three-quarters of participating firms offered 16 weeks of paid parental leave to primary caregivers.  The average leave offered to secondary caregivers was 5.5 weeks.
  • Female attorneys were much more likely to take leave and to take the full amount of leave available: 90% of women on leave took the full amount, versus 55% of men.
  • Over 90% of firms provided on-site or back-up childcare, up from 70% last year.

Leaky pipeline: women remain underrepresented at the top

  • Women comprised 46% of the associate pool but only 31% of newly-promoted partners last year.
  • In 2012, 17% of equity partners at participating law firms were women, and 20% of their executive or management committee members were women.

Please direct all inquiries to Lauren Hartz at lauren.hartz@yale.edu.

Arnold & Porter

Fulbright & Jaworski

Goodwin Procter

Hunton & Williams

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Perkins Coie

Reed Smith

Shearman & Sterling

Sidley Austin

Squire Sanders

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