Yale Law Women Releases Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

Yale Law Women (YLW) has announced its fourth annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List.The 2009 Top Ten Firms, in alphabetical order, are:
  • Arnold & Porter
  • Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
  • Covington & Burling
  • Jenner & Block
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman
  • Mayer Brown
  • Munger, Tolles & Olson
  • Patton Boggs
  • Sidley Austin
  • WilmerHale
“The Top Ten List, and any discussion of family friendly policies, is even more salient in this recession than in previous years,” said Yale Law Women Chair, Noorain Khan. “We hope firms will take advantage of the current market shift to create new opportunities for flexible work arrangements and work-life balance."

“We congratulate these Top Ten Firms, which are taking the lead in this area, especially in tough economic times,” said Lauren Gerber, Top Ten List Co-Chair. “However, our survey demonstrated that a significant gender disparity remains in how family friendly policies are designed and used in practice. Additionally, women continue to lag behind men in attaining partnership and leadership positions, indicating that firms still do not accommodate attorneys acting as primary caregivers.”

“We believe that the desire to maintain a challenging and engaging career while spending meaningful time with one’s family is and should be a gender neutral issue,” said Emily Oldshue, Top Ten List Co-Chair. “As the legal profession, and large law firms in particular, strives to meet new expectations and economic imperatives, we hope to see firms taking steps to retain and engage the top talent they have spent such valuable resources to recruit and train. The adoption and promotion of gender neutral leave and flex-time policies are an important component of this evolving vision.”

Selected statistics from the 2009 survey include the following:

  • On average, 16% of partners were women; of partners promoted in 2008, 23% were women
  • On average, women receive 15 weeks parental leave, compared to 6 weeks for men
  • 92% of mothers used the maximum parental leave offered, compared to 55% of fathers
  • 99% of requests for part-time work were granted
  • 7% of attorneys work part-time, on average, of whom 12% are partners, and 81% are women
  • 91% of firms make their part-time attorneys eligible for bonuses; 59% of part-time attorneys received bonuses in 2008, compared to 46% of full-time attorneys

Additional statistics, innovative practices, survey methodology, and a summary report can be found at

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