Law Firms

Which law firms made Fortune's list of the best places to work?

Best workplace award

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Six law firms are on Fortune magazine’s list of the 100 best companies to work for.

Fortune cited perks and policies at the six firms such as consensus decision-making, demystified partnership paths, paid sabbaticals, onsite childcare, meals with mentors, writing coaches and birthday beer carts.

Five of the law firms were on last year’s list; the sixth is Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Overall, Google is No. 1 on the list for the seventh year in a row.

The law firms and their rank are:

• Cooley, No. 28, which advises top tech companies such as Facebook and Google. Says Fortune: “To decompress, the firm holds Nintendo Wii dance-offs, outdoor movie nights, and family Halloween Spooktaculars. Partners are compensated based on their overall contribution to the firm, not merely the amount of business they bring in. One employee told us, ‘There are no big egos or hierarchical structures.’ ”

• Baker Donelson, No. 32. Says Fortune: “This law firm balances hard work with a laid-back culture that includes gumbo and chili cook-offs and birthday beer carts. Attorneys appreciate that the firm has demystified the path to becoming partner (called ‘shareholder’ here): Associates can view one another’s performance stats, and CEO Ben Adams explains the final decision-making.”

• Perkins Coie, No. 37. Says Fortune: It’s “one of the country’s highest-grossing law firms, but employees rave about its egalitarian approach. ‘Decisions usually made by consensus rather than in a top-down fashion,’ one attorney told us. The Seattle-based firm encourages employees to take time off to recharge, offering two-month paid sabbatical leave for all employees, including staff. In response, 77 workers took advantage of it last year.”

• Alston & Bird, No. 41. Says Fortune: “This 120-year-old Atlanta-based law firm offers an array of perks for new mothers: Up to 18 weeks of paid leave for attorneys, 12 weeks for staff and up to $10,000 for adoption or surrogate-related expenses (along with up to 90 days off). Pregnant moms share clothes through a co-op maternity closet and they even have reserved parking spaces close to the elevators in the parking garage for women in the last trimester of pregnancy. A&B also has on-site childcare (with discounted tuition for lower-paid employees) and parent support groups.”

• Arnold & Porter, No. 81. Says Fortune: “With a long, proud, do-gooder history, this DC-based law firm encourages pro bono work, with its attorneys averaging 100 hours of such work annually. Stellar career development includes writing coaches for new associates, meals with mentors, a seven-day intensive with mock trials and feedback, and rotation programs with organizations such as the Legal Aid Society and the San Francisco DA’s office. Flex scheduling is the norm.”

• Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, No. 91. Says Fortune: “Attorneys and staff at Orrick get plenty of guidance and support from mentors and coaches that give tips on career, writing, MBA courses and what it’s like to be a new parent. Partners also receive $3,500 to hire a personal coach to help improve their health. To spur business solutions, any employee can compete for the firm’s ‘Innovation Prize,’ with $50,000 going to the team member with the best idea to improve the firm.”

Two-thirds of each company’s rating in based on an employee survey, while one-third is based on a “culture audit” that gathers information about pay, benefits, hiring and other workplace programs.

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