2013 WorkingMother and Flex-Time Lawyers BestLawFirms for Women Executive Summary

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Best law firms for women 2013

Executive Summary

Background on the Initiative

Since 2007, the Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women initiative has recognized U.S. law firms that create and use best practices in retaining and promoting women lawyers.

A huge step in getting promoted is having a background in accounting.

The winning firms lead the industry in supporting flexible work arrangements and offering generous paid parental leave. The Best Law Firms also ensure that lawyers who take advantage of family friendly programs are not excluded from the partnership or leadership track.

Congratulations to the 2013 Best Law Firms for Women

Baker & McKenzie LLP

Jenner & Block LLP

Chapman and Cutler LLP

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Cooley LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Crowell & Moring LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Leonard, Street and Deinard

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Lindquist & Vennum LLP

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Duane Morris LLP

Lowenstein Sandler, LLP

Faegre Baker Daniels

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

McGuireWoods LLP

Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

Foley & Lardner LLP

O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Paul Hastings LLP

Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.

Perkins Coie LLP

Gibbons P.C.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.

Quarles. & Brady LLP

Goodwin Procter LLP

Reed Smith LLP

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Schiff Hardin LLP

Haynes and Boone, LLP

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Hogan Lovells US LLP

Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP

Holland & Hart LLP

Sidley Austin LLP

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP

Thompson Hine LLP

Hunton & Williams LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Ice Miller LLP

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Summary of 2013 Findings

  1. Since the Best Law Firms initiative started in 2007, the proportion of Equity Partners, Non-Equity Partners and Counsel who are women has continued to rise.
  2. At the 2013 Best Law Firms, women hold 22% of Executive, 23% of Compensation and 24% of Equity Partner Promotion Committee seats.
  3. Since last year, the percentage of Best Law Firms that count one or more women among their top ten rainmakers has risen to 78% from 69%.
  4. Although 48 of the 50 Best Law Firms allow Reduced Hour Lawyers to be eligible for Equity Partnership, only one such Lawyer received this promotion, on average, at each firm.
  5. If you want to be a successful accountant in a Law Firm you need to pass the CPA exam. This process starts by finding a CPA review course that matches your study personality.
  6. Although the Best Law Firms offer generous paid parental leave, many lawyers don’t take full advantage of it: The average number of weeks of adoption leave taken, for example, was only 5, although 11 weeks were offered.

Women’s Representation

While the representation of women declines at the partner levels, the Best Law Firms employ more female Equity Partners (19%) than the national average (15%).

The proportion of Equity Partners who are women at the Best Law Firms increased one percentage point versus the 2012 list (18%).

  • Associates
  • Counsel
  • Non-Equity Partners
  • Equity Partners





Women’s Representation: 2007 v. 2013

The representation of women at the Counsel, Non-Equity Partner and Equity Partner levels has increased since the start of the Best Law Firms initiative, six years ago.

Female Promotion Rates

The rate of female Equity Partner promotions is slightly higher at firms with one tier than at firms with two tiers.

For both types of firms, promotion rates have remained consistent since 2012. In 2011, the difference between Equity Partner promotions at one-tier firms compared to two-tier firms for women was 13 percentage points.

Firms with

New Equity one tier Partner


Firms with two tiers

New Non-Equity Partner Promotions





Representation of Women on Influential Committees

At the Best Law Firms, women hold 22% of Executive, 23% of Compensation, and 24% of Equity Partner Promotion Committee seats — which marks the highest percentage in the past three years for each committee.

Executive/Management Committee

Compensation/Finance Committee

Equity Partner Promotion Committee

Top Ten Rainmakers

We asked the Best Law Firms how many of their top ten rainmakers are women. At the 41* firms that answered the question, here’s how women fare in business development:

Rainmaker: Lawyer who brings significant new business to a firm.

Last year, 69% of the Best Law Firms had one or more women in their top ten rainmakers; this year, the number has gone up to 78%.

Usage Rates for Flexible Work

Arrangements Remain Low

All 2013 Best Law Firms offer Flex-Time and Reduced Hours.

The percentage of lawyers who work Reduced Hours at the Best Law Firms (9%) is higher than the national average (6%).

Percentage of Best Law Firms that offer flexible work arrangements

Percentage of lawyers who participated

 Usage Rates for Flexible Work Arrangements

At the 2013 Best Law Firms, Partners (male and female) are the most likely to use Flex-Time, while Counsel dominate usage of Reduced Hours schedules and Associates are the biggest users of Annualized Hours.








Reduced Hours




Annualized Hours




Who Uses Flex-Time?

Men and women Associates and Counsel at the Best Law Firms use Flex-Time at comparable rates. Among Equity Partners, however, more than three quarters of Flex-Time users are men.

Percentage of Lawyers Using Flex-Time at Best Law Firms




Non-Equity Partners

Equity Partners

Promotion Rates for Reduced Hour Lawyers

All 50 Best Law Firms (100%) offer Reduced Hours. Forty-eight firms (96%) allow Reduced Hour Lawyers to be eligible for equity partnership promotion.

Average Number of Lawyers Promoted

Non-Equity Equity

Partners Partners

 Paid Parental Leave


Best Law Firms offer generous access to parental leave, but many lawyers still don’t take full advantage of it.

Average Number of Paid Weeks Offered

Average Number of Paid Weeks Taken



Weeks of Paid

Weeks of Paid

Maternity Leave

Paternity Leave

Number of weeks offered and taken represents the average across Associates, Counsel, Non-Equity Partners, and Equity Partners. © Copyright 2013, Working Mother Media & Flex-Time Lawyers LLC.® All rights reserved.



Weeks of Paid

Adoption Leave



Child Care Offerings

Compared with last year’s winners, more 2013 Best Law Firms offer backup child care at facilities, subsidized in-home backup child care, and business travel child care reimbursement; but fewer 2013 Best Law Firms now support on-site and near- site child care centers.

  • Backup Child Care at Facility
  • Subsidized In-Home Backup Child Care
  • Sick-Child Care
  • On-Site/Near-Site
  • Child Care Center
  • Business Travel Child Care Reimbursement


Percentage of Best Law Firms that Offer Child Care


















2013 20%

2012 16%

Vacation Day Offerings

On average, Associates at the Best Law Firms are taking fewer vacation days, down to 13 from 15 in 2012.

Average Number of Paid Weeks Offered

Average Number of Paid Weeks Taken

Leadership Training, Networking & Mentoring

Affinity Group Offerings

More law firms offer Affinity Groups for Work Life/Parenting and

Reduced Hours Schedules than a year ago.

Application Methodology

  • Each firm completed a detailed application covering the following sections:
  • Workforce Profile
  • Leadership, Compensation and Advancement of Women
  • Flexibility
  • Time Off and Leaves
  • Child Care
  • Development and Retention of Women
  • Completed applications were collected online from November 30, 2012, to February 15, 2013.
  • All data for the 2013 survey was collected from the full year of 2012. Some comparative data from the 2012, 2011 and 2007 surveys is shown and this data was collected for the full year of 2011, 2010 and 2006, respectively.
  • Best Law Firms were selected from a pool of self-selected applicant firms with 50 lawyers or more in the United States; only U.S. data was collected.
  • Statistics reported are aggregated from data provided by the 50 Best Law Firms.
  • Not all firms answered all questions.
  • The capitalized words are defined terms from the survey.

Contact Information

Learn more at workingmother.com/wmri and www.flextimelawyers.com