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In an effort to inform and inspire our members and friends, we often share diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact an organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction. 

Ogletree Deakins’ Women’s Initiative

 

BRIGHT SPOT

The women’s initiative at Ogletree Deakins is a Bright Spot as it has enhanced the firm’s ability to retain and advance female attorneys at a remarkable rate. Stemming from the desire to increase the number of women in leadership, the process began with the creation of a Women’s Task Force. This force helped to identify the issues women were facing and made recommendations on potential solutions.

With this information, Ogletree implemented the following strategies and programs:

  • Ombudsman: A former board member was made available to assist firm lawyers in resolving work-related concerns and conflicts in an informal, confidential, and impartial manner.
  • Credit Guidelines: A review of origination credit guidelines paired with the realization that it is often difficult for women to have conversations with senior men regarding credit, gave way to change. Ogletree’s credit origination guidelines were refreshed to enhance clarity, promote collaboration, and help all attorneys address and handle difficult situations and advocate on their own behalf.
  • Compensation Process: Ogletree has an open compensation system. A new compensation appeals process was created to enhance transparency and reduce concerns about peers’ compensation, and an independent pay equity audit was conducted. Throughout the process, the firm made sure there was significant representation from women.
  • Sponsorship Program: Ogletree took a very deliberate and intentional look at the pipeline and decided to create a sponsorship program to increase opportunities for women to move from non-equity to equity positions within the firm. In 2018, the first year of sponsorships, 78% of women were promoted to equity status.
  • Business Accelerator Program: Ogletree’s new Business Accelerator Program (BAP) is designed to give high-performing female, non-equity shareholders, a boost as they progress toward the equity opportunity. This nine-month cohort experience focuses on business development to improve skills, gain exposure, and increase their books of business. In 2019, 100% of BAP participants agreed that the program helped them increase or acquire new skills, and would be of value for others.

IMPACT

The investment in these programs and initiatives has allowed the firm to reach impressive milestones. In the last two years, the firm’s New Partner Classes have had 50% or more women, 29% of the firm’s Managing Shareholders are women, and 33% of the firm’s board are women. Ogletree’s leadership continues to demonstrate commitment to the women’s initiative and looks forward to continued success in this arena.

Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and completing THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at jane@dfalliance.com

In an effort to inform and inspire our members and friends, we often share diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact an organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction. 

Law Firms that Are “Tipping the Scales” With 50% or More Women in Their 2019 New Partner Class

 

BRIGHT SPOT

At our 2019 Annual Conference, we recognized fifty-one law firms for having 50% or more women in their 2019 U.S.-based new partner class. The firms, recognized as “Tipping the Scales,” were identified through our New Partner Report, a compilation of public data and self-reported sources released each year for the past eight years. The Report revealed that 41.3 percent of new partners in 138 major U.S. law firms in 2019 were women, surpassing last year’s mark by 2.4 percentage points. The Executive Summary is publicly available here.

The “Tipping the Scales” firms recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2019 new partner class included:

1.     Akerman

2.     Alston & Bird

3.     Arent Fox

4.     Arnold & Porter

5.     Ballard Spahr

6.     Boies Schiller Flexner

7.     Bracewell

8.     Cahill Gordon & Reindel

9.     Cravath, Swaine & Moore

10. Crowell & Moring

11. Davis Polk & Wardwell

12. Davis Wright Tremaine

13. Debevoise & Plimpton

14. Dentons

15. Dickinson Wright

16. Drinker Biddle & Reath

17. Duane Morris

18. Epstein Becker & Green

 

19. Eversheds Sutherland

20. Fenwick & West

21. Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy

22. Gibbons

23. Goodwin Procter

24. Goldberg Kohn

25. Hogan Lovells

26. Jackson Lewis

27. Jones Day

28. K&L Gates

29. Lathrop Gage

30. Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith

31. Littler Mendelson

32. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

33. McGuireWoods

34. Miles & Stockbridge

35. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

 

36. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart

37. O’Melveny & Myers

38. Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein

39. Perkins Coie

40. Polsinelli

41. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan

42. Schiff Hardin

43. Seyfarth Shaw

44. Shook, Hardy & Bacon

45. Shutts & Bowen

46. Thompson & Knight

47. Van Ness Feldman

48. White & Case

49. Williams & Connolly

50. Wolf Greenfield

51. Womble Bond Dickinson

 

IMPACT

The impact of this Bright Spot can be seen in the industry as a whole – the 2019 New Partner Report found that the percentage of women promoted to partnership in major U.S. law firms has increased by 8.1 percent since 2012. Additionally, this Bright Spot indicates that individual firms are recognizing the importance of gender parity in their leadership and on their teams. We hope the ripple effect of this Bright Spot will be that organizations of all types will continue to recognize the need for a true commitment to an intentional and proactive strategy to retain and advance women.

PHOTO: Representatives from major law firms pose with Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, after receiving their “Tipping the Scales” Recognition at the Alliance’s 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, DC on November 7, 2019. Photo Credit: Birch Thomas (photosbybirch.com).

 

 

Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and completing THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at jane@dfalliance.com

 

In 2019, we will be sharing diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact your organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction. 

BRIGHT SPOT

Hogan Lovells – Agile Working Initiative

One of international law firm, Hogan Lovells’ Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots is its Global Agile Working Initiative. Launched in 2016, this initiative allows all attorneys and business services members in all offices worldwide to adopt an agile working plan. Employees who choose to adopt an agile working arrangement may utilize a combination of flexible working options including remote working, reduced hours, staggered arrival and departure times, job sharing, and telecommuting. Hogan Lovells even developed a “tool kit” to help explain and implement the policy.

IMPACT

Agile working at Hogan Lovells has allowed the firm to improve talent retention, promote stronger engagement, create a new sense of community, and has given its employees more control over how to balance their personal and professional lives. Lawyers at Hogan Lovells report satisfaction with their arrangements and have shared that the options and flexibility provided by the firm are key in their decision to stay at the firm. The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance honored Hogan Lovells in 2017 with one of our inaugural Flex Impact Awards. While benefitting men and women, the Global Agile Working Initiative has had the added bonus of helping the firm make significant progress towards its goal of having women make up 30 percent of its partners by 2022. Hogan Lovells was also the honoree for Dell’s Outside Counsel Diversity Award.

Hogan Lovells has shown that flexible working can result in increased efficiency, productivity, diversity and business success. Hopefully other US firms and corporations will learn from Hogan’s success and truly embrace flexibility on a global level.

Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and completing THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at jane@dfalliance.com

 

In 2019, we will be sharing diversity and flexibility Bright Spots – those small or large successes that impact your organization in a positive way. We believe that important diversity and flexibility initiatives can truly impact your organization’s bottom line, recruitment and retention capabilities and employee satisfaction. 

BRIGHT SPOT

One of international law firm Winston & Strawn’s Bright Spots is its Gender-Neutral Parental Leave Policy. After working with the Alliance to clearly identify employee needs and firm goals, Winston & Strawn was able to expand its parental leave policy to better support the demands of today’s families. Implemented in 2016, the policy allows 20 weeks of paid leave for attorneys regardless of gender to care for and bond with a new baby or child. Additionally, parents are not required to designate themselves as “primary” or “secondary” caregivers. The parental leave can be taken at one time or in two increments within a year of the birth or adoption of a child.

Winston also developed a Parental Leave Transition Support Program that includes a Parental Leave Liaison, an external, confidential career coach, and “ramp down” and “ramp up” periods during which billable hours are adjusted to aid in the transition for new parents. The policy applies to all US-based Associates and Of Counsel attorneys. Improvements also were made to the policies for practice attorneys and staff.

IMPACT

By removing the primary and secondary caregiver designations, Winston & Strawn has been able to shift the focus of parental leave from one that focuses on just women to one that focuses on all parents. Since the implementation of the policy, the firm has seen a consistent year-over-year increase in the percentage of men taking parental leave, as well as the length of leave time taken by men. For example, the average length of parental leave taken by men in 2018 was more than double the average length of time taken prior to the implementation of the policy. In addition, in 2018, over 20% of men taking parental leave took 18-20 weeks, in either one or two increments.

The Parental Leave Liaison and coach have been instrumental in helping attorneys maintain their connection to the firm and feel supported before, during and after their leave, with many associates choosing to participate in the firm-provided coaching. The policy has allowed parents at Winston & Strawn to find long-term career success while also caring for their families. Winston received Family Leave category honors in Yale Law Women’s “Top Family Friendly Firms of 2017,” an honor that will undoubtedly impact recruitment.

Since receiving the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s 2017 Flex Impact Award, Winston & Strawn has been seen as a trailblazer in the field. The firm is helping to drive innovation and inspire other firms to reevaluate their policies to better meet the needs of today’s families. The Alliance has seen an increase in these types of Gender-Neutral policies which can have a significant impact on the culture of flexibility and can clearly impact recruitment and retention.

Please share your Diversity & Flexibility Bright Spots with us by downloading and completing THIS SHORT FORM and emailing it to Jane Caldeira at jane@dfalliance.com