A study by Flex-Time Lawyers, an organization founded in Philadelphia in 1999 has surveyed firms to find which are most family-friendly and used to help women lawyers advance their careers in the law. The findings show that women are holding more positions on high-level law firm committees than the previous year and the trends appear to be headed higher for women in law.
Flex-Time Lawyers is an organization started in 1999 in Philadelphia by former Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis associate Deborah Epstein Henry. The study surveyed U.S. firms with 50 or more lawyers.
The survey cited firms for their family-friendly policies and business development initiatives that are helping to retain women and advance them into the leadership pipeline. The study found that compared with last year’s winners, the 2012 winners boast a higher number of women on high-level committees. Women hold 21 percent of seats on executive committees compared to 19 percent in 2011 and 21 percent of the seats on the compensation committees, up from 18 percent in 2011.
Women constitute 18 percent of equity partners at the winning firms, higher than the national average of 15 percent.
The law firms are featured in the December/January issue of the magazine. The annual list is designed to celebrate firms that are most successful in retaining and promoting women lawyers, and to give others the benchmarking tools to enable them to improve the status of women at their firms.
The write-up for Duane Morris notes the firm’s Springboard to Success program, which encourages junior partners to set clear goals, create business plans, devise marketing strategies and anticipate their clients’ needs. It also grants them a year of mentoring by senior attorneys. The firm’s Women’s Initiative holds business development seminars and panels, networking luncheons and retreats for female attorneys.