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Which Are the Best Law Firms for Women?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. | Last updated on

Though the legal job market still isn't looking too promising, it appears as though, for female attorneys at medium-sized and large law firms, things are looking up.

After a short hiatus, the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE) and Flex-Time Lawyers has released the 2011 list of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women, which demonstrates a small, yet significant, trend towards the increasing implementation of parent- and female-friendly programs in the legal industry.

Well, at least in the Midwest.

Open to firms with more than 50 attorneys, members of this year's list:

  • Show an overall increase in the number of female partners
  • Offer concrete reduced hour--or flex-time--policies
  • 90% offer management training
  • 80% offer networking and mentoring support for female attorneys
  • 78% offer full-time telecommuting

These numbers represent a significant increase since 2007, the list's first year in existence.

A closer look at the included firms shows that a colder climate may be worth the move for some female attorneys.

A number of regional firms based in Minneapolis made the list, including Fredrikson & Byron; Gray Plant Mooty Law Firm; Nilan Johnson Lewis; Lindquist & Vennum; and Faegre & Benson. And 21 of the 50 firms consider their home office to be located in different parts of the Midwest.

Interestingly enough, O'Melveny & Myers' not-so-subtle bid to increase its female-friendly (or at least parent friendly) atmosphere went unnoticed by the selection committee.

They didn't make it onto the list.

So, how many female attorneys are now thinking about jumping ship?

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