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by Vault Law Editors | January 21, 2011


What do in vitro fertilization, pro bono commitment, a child-care campus, and transparency have in common? They’re factors that helped four law firms land spots on Fortune’s annual ranking of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. These Fortune All Stars are Alston & Bird LLP (#13), Bingham McCutchen LLP (#28), Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC (#50), and Perkins Coie LLP (55). Way to represent BigLaw, but next year—in the spirit of mind-numbing competition and prestige-obsession that only attorneys can appreciate—can you all please try to get into the top 50 or even the top 25?

Even though I’m slightly disappointed that the firms didn’t give me a “Top 50” headline, I am impressed by the firm tidbits that Fortune shared. Alston was highlighted for its child-care facility, which serves 110 children and offers subsidized rates for employees earning lower salaries. Alston also received attention on Fortune’s Unusual Perks list for its health plan, which offers $25,000 towards fertility treatments. So basically, Alston is the BigLaw Baby Empire where the stresses of baby-making and reliable day-care should no longer interfere with the precious billable hour.

Of course, what’s the fun of slaving over billables all day if you don't see the results of your work? Perkins Coie is stepping up by sharing with its staff “how the firm's work impacts companies' success” each quarter. And Bingham and Baker Donelson are getting props for their pro-bono efforts. In fact, Baker Donelson has doubled its annual pro-bono hours since 2008.

Fortune’s best-companies ranking goes beyond the Top 100, though, with various other lists on pay, location and perks. Not surprisingly, none of the law firms made the Work-life balance list, but three of them (Alston, Perkins Coie, and Baker Donelson) made the Sabbatical perk list. Law firms don’t need work-life balance—associates can just take a few months off to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives once they burn out! Seriously, though, it would be great to see a law firm on the Work-life balance list next year. Taking steps toward addressing the issue and moving forward with solutions would be a great way for a firm to set itself apart.

Congratulations to the Best-Workplace law firms. Do a happy dance, and then get back to work—2012’s list will be here before you know it, and you have goals to meet.

Interested in learning more about how Fortune compiles its list? Click here.

Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For
Alston & Bird Fortune profile
Bingham McCutchen Fortune profile
Baker Donelson Fortune profile
Perkins Coie Fortune profile
Alston fertility perk profile
Fortune’s Sabbatical perk-list
Fortune’s Work-life perk-list
ABA Source



Filed Under: Law

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