Women in the Law

Working Mother's list of best law firms for women marks progress over 5 years

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The number of female lawyers promoted to equity partner has increased by almost 25% in the past five years, according to Working Mother Media’s latest list of best law firms for women.

A total of 60 law firms received the 2020 recognition, which for the past 13 years has highlighted efforts to find, retain, promote and develop female lawyers.

Dorsey & Whitney, Katten Muchin Rosenman and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr were additionally recognized for making the list every single year.

The American Lawyer has coverage.

Working Mother saw a 13% increase in applications last year, which, it says, demonstrates “law firms’ increasing commitment to gender equality.” Firms that applied were asked more than 300 questions about attorney demographics, schedule flexibility and paid time off and parental leave.

When looking at other advancement statistics, “multicultural” women make up 14% of equity partners in 2020, compared to 11% five years ago. The number of multicultural, female associates also jumped to 33% from 27% in the same time period.

All firms said they offer formal mentoring, and that 50% of mentees are women, according to Working Mother. Additionally, 36% provide gender-neutral fully paid parental leave in 2020, an increase from 35% in 2019; 36% provide gender-neutral paid parental leave with extra maternity leave, an increase from 24% in 2019; and 28% provide traditional maternity leave, an increase from 20% in 2019.

Working Mother also pointed out that flexibility has increased in the legal industry. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, all firms on the list offered reduced hours and remote work opportunities. Working Mother reported that 39% of female lawyers worked remotely in 2019.

“Law firms on this year’s list were better prepared to respond to the effects of the pandemic because of their continued support of flextime and remote work for working parents and caregivers,” said Subha V. Barry, president of Working Mother Media, in a statement provided to the American Lawyer.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Working Mother’s list of 100 best companies includes these 5 law firms”

ABA Journal: “More law firms join ‘best for women’ lists, but statistics are stalled”

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