Yale Law Women has announced its seventh annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List for 2012. The distinguished firms are Arnold & Porter, Crowell & Moring, Hunton & Williams, Latham & Watkins, Littler Mendelson, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Perkins Coie, Reed Smith, and WilmerHale.
In selecting candidates for this year’s list the YLW focused more on actual utilization of family-friendly policies in contrast to the abundance of ‘in-place’ policies, many of which are disregarded. The YLW made a detailed survey along with independent feedbacks from alumni members. The organization asked the law firms to provide detailed information on the rates at which attorneys in different positions and of different genders actually received advantage of those policies.
The YWL survey found that while almost every firm had part-time flex-time options, female attorneys availed of those options more frequently than male attorneys. The YLW noted that two firms, Squire Sanders and Vinson & Elkins had gender equity in the use of part/flex time showing greater insistence on work/life balance.
At two firms, Skadden Arps and Squire Sanders, the ratio of part-time billable hours to full-time billable hours was less than 50 percent showing that the part-time work was more meaningful in those firms than in others. The YWL found that at least more than 80% of the surveyed firms provided additional compensation for part-time attorneys who worked beyond the planned numbers of hours.
The YWL also found that the percentage of firms offering formal “off-ramp/on-ramp” programs had increased this year by at least ten percent. Many of these firms had innovative practices for helping the entry and exit of attorneys from the workplace. Many attorneys received “off-ramp” program advantages where they could re-enter the workforce after an extended leave.
The YWL also noted that there was a new trend in providing support for attorneys with other family responsibilities and several firms had broadened the scope of their back-up emergency services to include adult care and elder care.