According to our 2015 Flexibility Benchmarking Survey, there has been an uptick in the share of law firms that have formalized flexible work policies. In fact, 92% of law firms (at least of the 25 we surveyed) have formalized, written policies that include holistic flexibility – that is, reduced hours and full-time forms of flexibility.

The report also shows that there has been a significant increase in the number of firms that have committed to an automatic (but voluntary), gradual return to work after a leave (called “on-ramping”).

Even Partners and Chairs are beginning to understand the importance of flexible work policies. In about half of the firms we surveyed there is a designated flexibility program manager and/or Partners who serve as ambassadors for the flexibility program.

Another important finding of the survey is that reduced hours lawyers made up 8.4% of those promoted to partnership in firms that promoted both full-time and reduced hours lawyers to partnership in 2014.

The bottom line?

While the industry still has some work to do before all law firms effectively leverage flexibility, our data indicates that firms are beginning to see how flexible work policies can help retain and advance top, diverse talent in the legal profession.

Want to learn more about our survey and how other firms have successfully incorporated flexible work schedules into their culture? Register for our Annual Conference or read more in the 2015 Flexibility Benchmarking Survey Report Executive Summary. Become a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance for full access to the survey report.