Which Law Firms Are the Best Places to Work for Parents?
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Summary: Yale Law Women listed the top 10 family-friend law firms of 2016.

The legal world is notorious for not being family-friendly. Because associates are expected to work, work, work and rack up those billable hours, the system rewards people who put their personal lives on the backburner; and of course, this creates multiple problems. For one, stressed attorneys who can’t spend time with loved ones end up depressed and anxious, and this explains why one in three lawyers have a drinking problem. Another negative result is that women drop out of law firms over time. Despite feminism, women still tend to be the ones who take over domestic duties and working 60-70 hours a week in an office is not a viable option for them once they have kids.


Luckily, law firms are realizing that to attract and keep talent that they have to make changes in regards to their associates’ work-life balance. For over ten years, Yale Law Women has released a report that analyzes how family-friendly law firms are to its attorneys. Specifically, the group collects data relating to part-time or flexible scheduling, parental leave, gender equity, billing requirements, professional development, and pro bono policies. For 2016, they polled almost 70 firms around the country.

“Yale Law Women produces its annual Family Friendly Firms List to monitor trends in family friendliness among law firms, draw attention to gender disparities within the legal profession, highlight progress being made in the industry, and identify areas for improvement,” Yale Law Women’s report stated.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Morrison & Foerster, and WilmerHale were the only firms to return from 2015’s list. For 2016’s ranking, Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer and Morrison & Foerster received top honors when it came to allowing attorneys flexible scheduling, which was what respondents said was the most important element of a family-friendly firm. WilmerHale earned the top honors of having a generous family leave policy and setting a reasonable number of billable hours for associates.

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These three firms were joined by Foley Hoag, Foley & Lardner, Goodwin Procter, K&L Gates, Mintz Levin, O’Melveny, and Vinson & Elkins which took spots away from last year’s Best Law Firms Cadwalader, Duane Morris, Hogan Lovells, Hunton & Williams, Kirkland & Ellis, Munger Tolles, and Orrick.

Yale Law Women’s 2016 Top 10 Family-Friendly Law Firms (in alphabetical order)

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Foley Hoag

Foley & Lardner

Goodwin Procter

K&L Gates

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo

O’Melveny & Myers

Morrison & Foerster

Vinson & Elkins


For Yale Law Women’s complete report, click here.

What do you think of this list? Let us know in the comments below. 


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