The second-annual list of the best law firms for women, published by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers, highlights fewer Pennsylvania-based firms this year.
The unranked list of the 50 best firms in the nation named Fox Rothschild and Morgan Lewis & Bockius as some of the best law firms for women based on several criteria. Other firms with local offices that made list were Gibbons, Hogan & Hartson and Littler Mendelson.
In the inaugural listing, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, K&L Gates, Reed Smith, Duane Morris, DLA Piper and Gibbons were firms with local offices that made the list.
To Morgan Lewis’ credit, the publication pointed to its elevating part-time or flex-time women to partner positions in the past few years and allowing its attorneys to telecommute. The firm also has 450 female attorneys who have signed up as mentors or mentees to work on business development. Last fall, Morgan Lewis’ entire annual partners’ meeting was devoted to diversity and issues facing working mothers, according to Working Mother.
In looking at Fox Rothschild, the magazine said the firm is well-positioned to bring on and promote more female attorneys given its hiring and professional advancement committees are headed by women.
Fox Rothschild has an internal group that meets to discuss the “joys of having it all” and the firm offers flex-scheduling for those coming back from maternity leave and technology for those who want to telecommute. Many of the firm’s women serve on charitable boards or law-related forums. Fox Rothschild started a pilot business-development training program last year that will continue through 2008.
Firms filled out extensive applications and were scored based on their workforce profile, family-friendly benefits and policies, flexibility, leadership, compensation, advancement of women and retention of women, among other factors. Firms with at least 50 attorneys were eligible to apply, and surveys were scored based on an algorithm that weighted the categories differently.
The “50 Best Law Firms for Women” listing is a collaboration between the magazine and Deborah Epstein Henry, founder of Flex-Time Lawyers and of counsel with Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis.
–Gina Passarella, Senior Staff Reporter