Research Archives - Diversity & Flexibility Alliance

Deadline for Benchmarking Survey Submissions
Extended Until September 22

Plus All Participants Get a Free 30-Minute Implementation Call

We have extended the deadline for accepting submissions to our 4th Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey until close of business on Friday, September 22, 2017.  We encourage law firms to take advantage of this unique opportunity to gain valuable information and insights into the effectiveness of their flexible work policies, the biases that may be present and how they compare to the rest of the industry. Our goal is to help improve individual firm’s flex policies and help to change the culture of the industry as a whole.

In addition, once the 2017 report is released, the Alliance will offer a free, 30-minute call to all participants to discuss how to implement flexibility best practices from the report.

Five ways you’ll benefit from participating in our Benchmarking Survey

  1. An Opportunity for Self-Assessment

By completing the survey, you will, in essence, be performing a self-assessment of your firm’s flexibility policy. The questions on the survey were designed to determine holistic flexible work usage (including reduced hours, telecommuting, flexible start/end times, annualized hours and job sharing) by attorney or staff member position, gender, race and sexual orientation. By evaluating your firm’s answers you’ll have a glimpse into the successes as well as the gaps in your policy and its usage.

  1. It’s a Small Investment of Time for Large Benefits

This year’s survey has been streamlined and modified to reduce the number of questions related to usage data and attrition. The policy-related questions focus on information that is readily available to most flexibility program managers. It is our hope that those completing the survey will be able to do so in a shorter amount of time thereby making it well worth the effort for the critical data gained.

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More Women Are Being Promoted to Partner – But There’s Still Work to Be Done

As we release our fifth annual New Partner Report this week we are pleased to see that the percentage of women promoted to partnership in major U.S. law firms is continuing to steadily increase. This year, we found that 37.3 percent of new partners were women, up from 34 percent last year and 33 percent in 2014. We are even more pleased and proud that our member firms are outpacing the national average with 38.3 percent of new partners being women. As the National Association for Legal Placement (NALP) reported in 2015 the total percentage of women partners is 21.46 percent, so these incoming classes are clearly going to increase the overall numbers of women in firm leadership.

While we are optimistic that major law firms might one day have an even balance of men and women in their partnership and leadership ranks, the industry still has a long way to go. Research shows us that there is still some work to be done before firms retain as many women as they do men over the years. Remember, according to NALP, 48 percent of graduating law school students are women and 44.68 percent of law firm associates are women, so we need to understand why these percentages are dropping to 21.46 at the partner level and 37.3 in terms of partner promotions.

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Just A Couple More Weeks To Take Advantage of Our Flex Benchmarking Survey

Our Third Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey will remain open until September 12, 2016 September 27, 2016 (DEADLINE EXTENDED). We strongly encourage all major U.S. law firms, including Alliance members and non-members, to take advantage of this unique opportunity to track the availability, usage, and support for flexible work options.

There is No Downside to Participating

Remember, our survey is unique in the sense that no firms are named (or shamed!) and we will not produce a ranked list. All responses are kept confidential and the final results report will only include aggregate data. We simply want law firms to examine their holistic flexible work usage including reduced hours schedules, telecommuting, flexible start/end times, annualized hours, and job sharing by attorney position, gender, race, and sexual orientation. Our goal is to help improve firms’ flex policies and help to change the culture of flex in the industry as a whole.

Process of Participating Yields Huge Benefits

Many firms find that by participating in our survey, they can take stock of their flexible work options, their employees’ usage, and how they can improve their policies. As we all know, flexible work options are very important to today’s law school graduates and are key to all firms’ recruitment and retention strategies.

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How Does Your Flex Policy Stand Up to the Rest of the Industry?

Announcing the Third Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey

As with any aspect of business, it’s important to track your firm’s progress and know where you stand in the industry when it comes to flexibility. Are you keeping up with your competitors’ flexible work policies?

To help law firms answer this question, the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance created a benchmarking survey two years ago which tracks the availability, usage, and support for flexible work in major law firms in the US. The Third Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey is now available to law firms in the American Lawyer 200 (AmLaw 200), including Alliance members and non-members.

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Benchmarking Data to Support Your Firm’s Flexibility Efforts

Did you miss seeing our 2015 Flexibility Benchmarking Survey Report released two weeks ago?

If so, you may not know that a majority of U.S. law firms in our survey reported having more than one type of flexible work as part of their formal policy. That is, their policies include at least two of the following types of holistic flexibility: reduced hour schedules, telecommuting, flexible start/end times, annualized hours and/or job sharing.

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The Alliance’s New Partner Report Featured in National Publications

The findings of the Alliance’s 2015 New Partner Report have been featured by numerous national publications, including the American Bar Association Journal, the American Lawyer, Crain’s Chicago Business, Law360, and the Wall Street Journal:

Which major firms promoted zero women to partner this year? by Debra Cassens Weiss

At Some Firms More Than Others, Women Lag Among New Partners by Julie Triedman

Guess which Chicago law firm has promoted the most female partners by Claire Bushey

Female Attys Make Modest Gains In Partner Promotions by Andrew Strickler

Legal Industry Potpourri: Demand Down, More Women Advancing by Sara Randazzo

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Announcing the Second Annual
Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance is pleased to announce the launch of the Second Annual Law Firm Flexibility Benchmarking Survey, which will build upon the momentum of our inaugural study conducted last year.

Consistent with our mission to advance flexibility for all in the legal profession, this survey tracks the availability, usage, and support for flexible work in major law firms in the US. More specifically, this year’s survey will examine the types of flexibility and leave policies that firms have implemented, general usage by level, race, gender, and sexual orientation, whether and how working flexibly affects promotion, and the types of support available for those who work flexibly.

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