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Top Family-Friendly Law Firms Named; Six Firms Get Bounced from List

Posted Apr 27, 2012 7:20 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Yale Law Women has announced this year’s top 10 family friendly law firms, and the new list differs significantly from last year’s.

Only four law firms on the 2011 list are back this year. Six law firms on last year’s list that didn’t make the overall list this year are: Covington & Burling, Dorsey & Whitney, Kirkland & Ellis, Mayer Brown, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, and Sidley Austin.

This year’s top 10, in alphabetical order, are:

• Arnold & Porter

• Crowell & Moring

• Hunton & Williams

• Latham & Watkins

• Littler Mendelson

• Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo

• Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

• Perkins Coie

• Reed Smith

• WilmerHale

Yale Law Women’s survey this year emphasized how many people actually use family friendly policies, rather than policy availability. The survey found “substantial room for improvement” in use of the policies by men. On average, 80 percent of the lawyers using part-time options were women. Two firms, however, had about equal numbers of men and women working part-time: Squire Sanders and Vinson & Elkins. They are among several firms named for “category honors.”

Other findings from Yale Law Women’s survey of firms in the Vault 100:

• The average lawyer working a part-time schedule puts in 60 percent of the hours worked by full-time lawyers.

• A third of firms provide 16 or more weeks of paid childcare leave to primary caregivers. On average, mothers were offered 16 weeks of leave, while fathers were offered 7.5 weeks of leave.

• Seventy percent of firms offered on-site or backup child care. Several firms have expanded their back-up emergency care services to include adult care and elder care.

• While women currently make up 43 percent of the associate pool, only 30 percent of newly promoted partners last year were women. Eight firms, however, achieved gender parity in partner promotions: Arnold & Porter, Fried Frank, Jenner & Block, Littler Mendelson, Paul Weiss, Perkins Coie, Wachtell Lipton and WilmerHale.

• Seventeen percent of equity partners are women, and 12 percent of executive management committee partners are women.

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