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Yale Law Women Names Top 10 Female-Friendly Firms

April 19, 2018, 10:47 PM

Yale Law Women has released its 13th annual Top 10 list of family-friendly law firms, which for the first time includes a separate list of female-friendly firms.

While past reports have included gender equity as a subsection under family-friendliness, the new report structure reflects the fact that not all women have non-work family obligations, and that not all attorneys with family obligations are women.

“Part of the purpose of this report is to get firms thinking about what other firms are doing, what’s being rewarded, and what future associates are going to care about,” said Megan Mumford, a Yale 1L and co-chair of the Top 10 committee.

The firms on the female-friendly list were judged according to the gender equity across all hiring levels, the representation of women in their leadership positions, and their training and mentorship programs.

The Top 10 female friendly firms are: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Bryan Cave, Hogan Lovells, Holland & Knight, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Littler, McDermott Will & Emery, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Morrison & Foerster, and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. (Yale Law Women publishes the lists in alphabetical order, without individual rankings.)

Under the new categorization, some firms that previously made the list of family friendly firms list did not make the Top 10 female-friendly firms list, according to Mumford, who said many firms still have a long way to go in promoting women to top leadership.

Among participating firms, 46 percent of associates were women and 21 percent of equity partners were women.

Only three firms, Littler, Ropes & Gray, and WilmerHale, reported having an equity partnership with at least 25 percent women. Only five of the firms that responded reported having an executive committee with at least 35 percent women.

“The thing we have seen a lot of promise on is the promotion of women to partner, so the flow is coming in,” Mumford told Big Law Business. “But only a few partners are hired each year so it takes a while.”

The family-friendly list measured firms’ compensation policies and billable hour requirements, parental leave, and part time or flex time options.

Yale Law Women measured family leave policies as well as whether both men and women made use of available time off. “If only women take it, it indicates there is still a career block to taking it,” said Mumford.

The Top 10 family-friendly law firms, in alphabetical order, are Bryan Cave, Fish & Richardson, Hunton & Williams, McDermott Will & Emery, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Reed Smith, Vinson & Elkins, and Wilmerhale.

Members of the Yale Law Women Top 10 committee created the lists by sending a survey to all Vault 100 law firms and examining the policies of the approximately 50 firms that responded. The responses were then weighted based on surveys of Yale Law graduates of all genders currently working at those firms.

Yale Law Women is a student-led organization with the goal of advancing the status of women at Yale Law School and in the legal profession at large.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at

To contact the editor on this story: Casey Sullivan at