Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP today was named one of the top law firms for women by Working Mother in the magazine’s 11th annual “Best Law Firms for Women” list. The magazine collaborated with the ABA Journal in compiling the 2018 list of 60 firms that promote women’s advancement and are increasing women’s representation throughout the firm.
The full list, available here, highlights law firms where women are increasingly taking on leadership roles and where women’s representation is increasing. These firms also increasingly offer extended parental-leave benefits and encourage more lawyers to work remotely and use flexible hours.
Waller was given high marks for its policies regarding flexibility in the workplace and overall support for women’s advancement. The firm was also lauded for its policies regarding reduced hours and remote work, support for leadership education programs and the use of surveys and communication tools to gather and report feedback from staff and attorneys.
“Over the past several years, we’ve put a number of programs in place to recruit, retain and support the women of Waller,” said Elle McCulty, chair of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Council. “Waller provides strong support for re-entry of moms, including reimbursement for up to 40 hours of backup childcare, access to pre-screened sitters at pre-negotiated rates and alternative and remote work options, and our ‘Paths to Partnership’ program is designed to educate and grow the firm’s next generation of leadership.”
Waller is also increasing the representation of women at the firm. Women made up nearly half of the group of attorneys elected to partner in 2018, and nearly 40 percent of the new lawyers hired in 2017 were women.
“We are proud of this recognition and the progress we’ve made as a firm,” said Matt Burnstein, chairman of the firm. “We want to build on our progress and continue this momentum we’ve developed.”
In terms of overall leadership, women serve on the firm’s board of directors and compensation committee, in addition to leading practice groups and chairing a number of other key committees. Additionally, women lead numerous departments at Waller, including business development, human resources and administration. Waller’s two subsidiaries are both led by women.
"The law firms that make Working Mother's list are remarkable for their long-term commitment to retaining and promoting women lawyers," said Meredith Bodgas, editor-in-chief of Working Mother. "One hundred percent of these firms provide flexible work arrangements and 57 percent of them offer sponsorship programs for high-potential women lawyers.”
The 2018 Working Mother “Best Law Firms for Women” application included more than 300 questions about attorney representation, schedule flexibility, paid time off and parental leave, and the development and retention of women. Profiles are culled from the applications and reflect 2017 data. The ABA Journal acts as a partner in recruiting participant firms and publicizing results.