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WilmerHale Named One of the Yale Law Women’s Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

September 9, 2008

WilmerHale has been recognized as one of the 2008 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms by Yale Law Women. The women’s group at Yale Law School surveyed top law firms to showcase those that are improving work-life balance policies, thereby helping to retain and advance women in the legal profession. Last month, WilmerHale was also honored for a second year in a row as one of the 2008 Working Mother & Flex Time Lawyers’ Best Law Firms for Women.

“We are proud to be recognized by Yale Law Women for our innovative initiatives that help women attain balance in their personal and professional lives and flourish as practitioners,” said Carol Clayton, assistant managing partner at WilmerHale and a leader of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. “The firm is focused on creating a culture of open communication, inclusion and respect that allows us to recruit and retain exceptionally talented lawyers from diverse backgrounds.”

WilmerHale’s parental-leave policy for lawyers is among the best in the profession, allowing 18 weeks child-care leave at full pay and benefits for both fathers and mothers who are the primary caregiver of a newborn or newly adopted child during the leave. New parents who are primary caregivers may also take up to 34 weeks of additional 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 part-time, flex-time, or telecommuting arrangements with full health benefits for those working at least 60%.

WilmerHale women have also assumed many leadership positions: 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.

The firm’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (wilmerhalewomen.com) promotes the retention and advancement of our women lawyers through the efforts of a group of women partners, counsel and associates throughout the firm. They strive to be a leader and help move the entire profession forward. Also, the firm’s Work-Life Balance Committee, led by two working mothers, is set up to cultivate a work environment that permits and encourages lawyers to practice law in a manner consistent with the firm’s core values, while maintaining rewarding family and personal lives.

Yale Law Women surveyed firms from the 2007 Vault Top 100 Law Firms list. Questions ranged from topics such as access to and use of maternity/paternity leave; emergency and on-site child care; part-time and flex-time work schedules; health and other benefits for domestic partners; ratios of women partners and associates; and billable hours. Firm responses were weighted based on a 2007 survey of Yale Law School alumni who were asked about the importance of each category of family friendly policies.

The complete list of the Yale Law Women’s 2008 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms can be found at www.law.yale.edu/stuorgs/topten.htm.

About Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
WilmerHale provides legal representation across a comprehensive range of practice areas that are critical to the success of its clients. The law firm’s leading intellectual property, litigation/controversy, regulatory and government affairs, securities, and transactional groups participate in some of the highest-profile legal and policy matters. With a staunch commitment to public service, the firm is renowned as a leader in pro bono representation. WilmerHale has more than 1,000 lawyers in 12 cities worldwide. For more information, please visit www.wilmerhale.com.

About Yale Law Women
YLW is Yale Law School’s student organization devoted to promoting the interests of women in law school and the legal profession. For more information about the Top Ten list, including innovative family friendly policies, visit www.yale.edu/ylw.