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Six Law Firms Make Fortune’s List of Top 100 Places to Work

Posted Jan 21, 2010 9:29 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Six law firms are on Fortune magazine’s list of the best 100 companies to work for in 2010, up from five last year.

New on this year’s list is Baker Donelson, cited for increasing its number of minority lawyers from 12 to 40 and for reporting no layoffs. The other law firms are Bingham McCutchen; Alston & Bird; Arnold & Porter; Perkins Coie; and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

To pick the best companies, Fortune surveys a random sample of company employees to learn their attitudes about management's credibility, job satisfaction and camaraderie, according to a Perkins Coie press release. Two-thirds of each company’s score is based on the answers. The other third is based on company responses to questions about pay, benefits, diversity and communication.

Here are the law firms’ rankings and Fortune's summaries of why they made the list:

No. 12 is Bingham McCutchen. “Diversity has a high priority at this corporate law firm. Retreats bring together lawyers of color and openly gay and lesbian lawyers. In response to employee feedback, health insurance was amended in 2009 to cover additional benefits for transgender employees.”

No. 30 is Alston & Bird. “The law firm invites all employees—everyone from receptionists to shipping clerks to legal secretaries—to attend monthly firm meetings marked by the review of a project and kudos to all who contributed.”

No. 65 is Arnold & Porter. “Employees who make successful referrals at this prestigious law firm are rewarded with bonuses ranging from $450 to $15,000.”

No. 75 is Perkins Coie. “Firm was proud to represent Obama for America, with 59 lawyers working on the campaign. Another 48 attorneys worked on the Al Franken campaign.” It is one of 14 companies on the Fortune list that pay 100 percent of their employees' health care premiums.

No. 77 is Baker Donelson. “A strong commitment to diversity at this law firm founded in 1888 has lifted number of minority lawyers from 12 to 40; of 540 lawyers, 180 are women.” It is one of 17 of the top 100 companies reporting no layoffs.

No. 95 is Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. “Recession prompted law firm to ask incoming associates to defer their entry until the fall of 2010 and offered to place them in legal jobs at nonprofits and government agencies, paying them an honorarium of $60,000 and a $15,000 bar stipend. Forty-three incoming lawyers (56 percent of the class) agreed to the deferment.”

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