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What are the best law firms for women?
The National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and Flex-Time Lawyers recently announced that they have identified the 50 top firms for women lawyers through an intensive study of retention and promotion of female lawyers at firms with at least 50 attorneys.
When compared to the launch of the Best Law Firms for Women initiative in 2007, the 2011 Firms have increased female representation at the Counsel (41 percent), Non-Equity Partner (28 percent), and Equity Partner (19 percent) levels. At the winning firms, women hold 18 percent of compensation, 19 percent of executive, and 23 percent of equity partner promotion committee seats.
The Best Law Firms for Women are also leading the legal industry by example in the area of childcare, with 78 percent offering backup childcare and 62 percent offering subsidized in-home backup childcare.
All of these factors matter when trying to break the glass ceiling that female lawyers in the Golden State still encounter. California Women Lawyer (CWL) has been promoting the "No Glass Ceiling" initiative since 2002. One goal of the initiative is to increase the representation of women in firm partnership and management to 50 percent, consistent with the percentage of graduating female law students.
The NAFE and Flex-Time Lawyers 50 top firms are clearly making strides in the right direction.
The 2011 Best Law Firms for Women are embracing family and worker-friendly policies with reduced hour policies and full-time telecommuting options, and improving retention with programs that encourage networking, training and mentoring.
Several firms with a large California presence made the cut:
Visit FindLaw for a full list of the 50 top firms for women lawyers.