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Press Release: Yale Law Women Announces 2015 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

April 20, 2015

Yale Law Women (YLW) is pleased to announce its tenth annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms list. YLW congratulates these firms for their leadership in developing and implementing family friendly policies and practices. The 2015 Top Ten Firms, in alphabetical order, are:

Arnold & Porter

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

Duane Morris

Hogan Lovells US

Hunton & Williams

Kirkland & Ellis

Morrison & Foerster

Munger, Tolles & Olson

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

WilmerHale

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. Our full report, available at http://yalelawwomen.org/top-ten-list, also awards category honors for firms in Part-Time and Flex-Time Policies, Family Leave, and Gender Equity.

Overall Trends:

  • Part-Time & Flex-Time Policies – Among participating firms, 11% of attorneys promoted to partner in 2014 were currently working or had previously worked part-time or flexible full-time schedules.
  • Family Leave – Many law firms adhere to an emerging industry norm of offering 18 weeks for primary caregivers and ­­4 weeks for secondary caregivers, but eligibility for leave varies.
  • Gender Equity – Among participating firms, 45% of associates were women, 19% of partners were women, and 29% of attorneys promoted to partner in 2014 were women.
  • Bonuses & Billing – 52% of participating firms required full-time associates to work a minimum number of billable hours to receive a bonus; for those firms, the median minimum was 1,950.
  • Parental Accommodations – 42% of participating firms offered on-site childcare, and 40% had policies in place to allow attorneys to take several years of leave with the option of returning to the firm.

Ten Years of Top Ten Family Friendly Firms:

The comparison of statistics from previous iterations of the Top Ten Survey with this year’s results shows some policy improvements, but also a lack of progress in several areas. Notable improvements have been made in policy offerings relating to parental accommodations, but the usage rate of family-friendly policies remains stagnant. Furthermore, the percentage of women partners has not risen since 2008. Although firms may have realized, thanks in part to initiatives like the Top Ten Family Friendly Firms Survey, that family friendliness and work-life balance matter to attorneys and prospective lawyers, there is still work to be done in creating an industry that truly supports families.

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. For more information, please visit our website at http://yalelawwomen.org/top-ten-list/.

Please direct all inquiries to Kathryn Loomis at kathryn.loomis@yale.edu.

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