Working Mother has released its brand new list of best firms for women lawyers to practice. As we know, law firms tend to be family-hostile places to work. Once you go on the "mommy track," years have been added to your time to become partner.
Further, women have to break the very real "glass ceiling" that prevents them from advancing in their careers. Though almost 50% law school grads over the past 15 years have been women, they make up only 16 percent of equity partners.
"For real-life female lawyers, and millions of working moms in other high-pressure fields, balancing work and family may be the toughest part of the job. Law firms are starting to recognize the hard choices their female attorneys face. In this, our inaugural Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women list, we salute those firms with groundbreaking programs to help women strike a better work/life balance and climb to the top. Our winning firms have taken the lead in implementing penalty-free flex schedules and mentoring, networking and leadership programs," wrote editors Suzanne Riss, Teresa Palagano and Angela Ebron.
To see the list of the top 50 firms, please visit the LawMarketing Portal.
Why Being a Family Friendly Firm is Important to Business Development
For a firm to attract the best clients and assignments, it must have the top talent. This means creating a workplace that all lawyers enjoying practicing in. A law firm cannot be a gilded sweatshop; it must be an office that allows work-life balance. As Generation X and Y have taught us, money isn't everything. Lawyers will turn down a high-paying offer, to take a lesser-paying job instead at a firm they enjoy working in.
Women start to leave law firms in their 4th or 5th year, with the result that only 17 percent of partners at major law firms are women. The turnover is costing law firms millions of dollars, as they invest in developing women associates only to see them go just as they become profitable to the firm. From a strictly economic viewpoint, it’s bad for business to lose the valuable women lawyers.
Law firms must begin to offer women lawyers support in business development. Marketing certainly isn’t taught in law school. Rainmakers are not born, they are trained. A recent survey I conducted revealed that 73% of rainmakers took a course or training session in marketing after they began their law practice.
To see several constructive ideas that law firms should adopt to reduce turnover among women lawyers, generate more business and thus boost firm revenue, please read Rainmaking: The Hammer to Break the Glass Ceiling for Women Lawyers.