Posted April 17th, 2016.
By Jacqueline Bell
Law360, New York (April 17, 2016, 9:26 PM ET) — For the second year, Law360 has ranked the 100 best U.S. law firms for women, based on the firm’s female representation at the partner and nonpartner levels and its total number of female attorneys.
These firms are working to buck the industry’s overall trend. Law360’s 2016 Glass Ceiling report found that just 34 percent of all attorneys and a mere 22 percent of partners at the U.S. law firms surveyed by Law360 are women. Those numbers have barely budged over the past few years, indicating that the legal industry has struggled to make much progress in giving women new opportunities to shine in the profession.
Law360 ranked firms by examining a variety of factors, including the percentage of partners, both equity and nonequity, who are women; the percentage of associate-level attorneys who are women; and the divide between those two. For the firms that nabbed spots on the list, the number of women at all levels of the firm shows that firm leaders are finding some new ways to open doors and increase diversity.
At many of these 100 firms, there are more female nonpartners than male, creating at least the prospect of a future legal industry filled with far more female equity partners and executive committee members.
Leading the pack are California-based Walsworth – WFBM LLP and New York-based immigration boutique Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP, closely followed by pace-setters Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP and Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. At those four firms, more than 50 percent of the entire attorney workforce are women, and more than 48 percent of their partner ranks are women.
Methodology: Law360 surveyed more than 300 U.S. firms, or vereins with a U.S. component, about their overall and female headcount numbers as of Dec. 31, 2015. Only U.S.-based attorneys were included in the survey. Firms are ranked based on four factors: the percentage of partners, both equity and nonequity, who are women; the percentage of nonpartners who are women; the split between the firm’s female partner percentage and female nonpartner percentage; and the number of female attorneys at the firm.
–Editing by Christine Chun and Catherine Sum.