Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers have named Shook, Hardy & Bacon among their 2013 “50 Best Law Firms for Women.” The firm’s selection follows a rigorous screening process involving a detailed evaluation of “workforce representation; time off and leaves; child care; flexibility; leadership, compensation and advancement of women; and development and retention of women. It surveys female presence, roles, policies, programs, and usage rates.” U.S. firms with more than 50 attorneys are eligible to participate.
A Working Mother article titled “For the Public Good” highlights Shook Partner Jane Bartley’s experience as a young mother balancing the demands of her role as a trial attorney with the firm’s support. She vowed to help the parents of children with special needs receive the services to which they are entitled at school and helped establish one of Shook’s pro bono programs to provide this assistance. The article notes that Shook’s pro bono initiatives, which focus on children, had a 71 percent participation rate in 2012, with firm attorneys donating some 20,000 volunteer hours. According to Working Mother, many of the Best Law Firms for Women have enrolled in the Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge and, in addition to providing a hospitable work environment for women, provide significant support to women through their pro bono initiatives.
Summarizing their recognition program, Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers note that the winning firms “create and use best practices in retaining and promoting women lawyers” and “lead the industry in supporting flexible work arrangements and offering generous paid parental leave. The Best Law Firms also ensure that lawyers who take advantage of family friendly programs are not excluded from the partnership or leadership track.”