New York, NY (August 14, 2007)—Working Mother magazine, the authoritative source for career mothers, and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, a national consulting firm advising attorneys and legal employers on work-life balance and the retention and advancement of women, have named WilmerHale as one of the 2007 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers' Best Law Firms for Women. A new initiative from the leading advocates for work-life balance and women-friendly policies, Best Law Firms for Women honors 50 winning firms for their commitment to the retention and advancement of female talent.
“Since its founding, Working Mother magazine has been the champion of progressive, women-friendly changes in the workplace,” said Carol Evans, CEO, Working Mother Media. “Every year we see substantive advances in companies’ policies across the country, and we are so excited to be able to pair with Flex-Time Lawyers to celebrate change in a field that has historically struggled to support women and their life choices. I commend WilmerHale for taking the lead for women lawyers.”
“We are delighted to celebrate WilmerHale for its efforts and successes in retaining and promoting women,” said Deborah Epstein Henry, Founder and President of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC. “We hope its standing on the list of Best Law Firms for Women will further inspire WilmerHale to use the national benchmarking data now available to it through participation in this initiative to improve the status of women in the profession and raise the bar on what makes a best law firm for women,” added Henry.
Profiled in the August/September issue of Working Mother magazine, WilmerHale is honored for creating a work environment that is hospitable to and encouraging of the advancement of women. With innovative programs and policies that seek to help female attorneys achieve balance in their personal and professional lives and thrive as practitioners, WilmerHale is ensuring that women are an integral part of the future of private law practice.
“We are honored to be recognized as one of the Best Law Firms for Women,” said William Lee, co-managing partner of WilmerHale. “Among our best and brightest lawyers are working mothers. The Firm has undertaken initiatives in helping working mothers (and fathers) to balance their work and family responsibilities, including providing them with the opportunity to work on reduced or flexible schedules.”
For example, WilmerHale's family-leave policy for lawyers is among the best in the profession, allowing three-months’ child-care leave at full pay and benefits for both fathers and mothers who are the primary caregiver during the leave. New parents who are primary caregivers may also take nine additional months of unpaid leave, during which their benefits continue. After parents return to work, the firm provides continuing support that includes emergency child-care; lactation rooms; and flexible schedules such as of part-time, flex-time, or telecommuting arrangements with full health benefits for those working at least 50%.
Additionally, the firm has many prominent working mothers, several of whom lead WilmerHale’s women’s and work-life balance initiatives: Carol Clayton is one of four partners who constitute WilmerHale’s senior leadership and also heads the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Jamie Gorelick—who co-chairs the firm's Work-Life Balance Committee—heads the Defense, National Security and Government Contracts Practice as well as the Public Policy Practice. She served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States and as a member of the 9/11 Commission. Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky joined the firm after serving as the US Trade Representative—the chief trade negotiator and principal trade policymaker for the United States—from 1997 to 2001. She is best known internationally as the architect and chief negotiator of China's historic WTO Agreement, as well as global agreements in financial services, telecommunications, intellectual property rights, high-technology products and cyberspace.
Women have also assumed many leadership positions at WilmerHale: three (all working mothers) are members of the firm’s Management Committee, several lead practice groups including the firm’s two largest, and the two committees responsible for recommending the election of lawyers to counsel and partner are both co-chaired by working mothers. Finally, WilmerHale has hired and promoted increasing numbers of women attorneys: 52% of 2007 fall associates are women, and 35% of the most recent class of new partners are women.
Methodology: The application and evaluation process for the 2007 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women initiative was developed in a partnership by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC and based on Working Mother’s annual 100 Best Companies, a groundbreaking initiative that was first introduced in 1986, that continues to set the standard for family-friendly workplaces. To apply for the Best Law Firms for Women, WilmerHale provided detailed information on the issues that are most important to the retention and promotion of women lawyers in six measured areas: workforce profile, benefits and compensation, parental leave, childcare, flexibility, and retention and advancement of women.
The complete list of the 2007 Working Mother & Flex-Time Lawyers Best Law Firms for Women can be found in the August/September issue of Working Mother magazine, on newsstands August 14, and at www.workingmother.com and www.flextimelawyers.com.