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What better time than Mother’s Day to tip our hats to working moms in one of the most demanding jobs around? This year over 17,000 lawyers participated in Vault’s Law Firm Associate Survey and told us what it’s really like to work in BigLaw. The full rankings and law firm profiles, complete with comments submitted by attorneys on all aspects of firm life, will be released next month. In the meantime, we on the editorial team have been immersing ourselves in the survey data. While it’s certain that the top firms are trying to make promotion more appealing and attainable for female attorneys with benefits like generous parental leave and flex-time, survey participants made it clear that it’s still an uphill battle for women trying to balance work and family life—even with the measures their firms have undertaken. To paraphrase one associate, on the whole, most big firms don’t “get” women and the support they need in order to be successful.
We asked associates to rate and comment on their firm’s gender diversity efforts in hiring, promotion and mentoring, and we told them to “[f]eel free to discuss issues relating to hiring, retention, promotion, child care, maternity/paternity leave and mentoring opportunities.” Here’s a sampling of what associates have to say about life as a woman at the most prestigious firms in the country:
Given all of the above, it’s a wonder any woman (whether she plans on having children or not) would want to work in BigLaw. But it’s not all bad news.
Hats off to all of the law firm professionals, male and female, mother or not, who are fighting to make the world of corporate law more welcoming to women and other minority candidates. And to those, like the women at the Geller Law Group, who refuse to believe that women can’t “have it all” and have premised their company’s structure around the ability to juggle the demands of work and family.
Look out for more info from the Vault Law Survey in the coming weeks, and stay tuned for the release of our annual Law Rankings in June and July!
Which Law Firms May Actually be Celebrating Mother's Day?
Vault's Best Law Firms for Diversity for Women
A Woman-Led Law Firm That Lets Partners Be Parents
Egg Freezing Perk: Latest Proof That Women Can’t Have It All?
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