97 BigLaw Firms Get Perfect Scores on LGBT Issues

The Human Rights Campaign has given perfect scores to 97 large law firms for their protections and benefits for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

The nation’s top 200 law firms were invited to participate in the survey, and 130 agreed, according to a press release. Ninety-seven received 100 percent scores, making the legal sector the top industry in the campaign’s corporate equality index, according to the 2011 report (see page 81 for individual listings). Second place went to the banking and financial services industry, and third place to retail and consumer products employers.

Last year, 88 law firms got perfect ratings.

The survey relies on self-reporting, but the Human Rights Campaign will deduct points for a “significant official or public anti-LGBT blemish on the company’s recent record.” That hurt Foley & Lardner, since it provided legal help to groups opposing gay marriage in Washington, D.C., the Human Rights Campaign says. “Although the firm has a long history of pro bono support for LGBT causes,” the reports says, “it decided not to abandon its representation of the anti-LGBT organization and has not provided HRC with evidence that such clearly discriminatory clients will not be engaged in the future.” Absent the 15-point deduction, the firm would have received a perfect score.

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