Waller Named One of Nation's Best Law Firms for Women in 2019 by Working Mother Magazine

Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP has been recognized again as one of the top law firms for women by Working Mother in the magazine’s 12th annual “Best Law Firms for Women” list. The magazine collaborated with the ABA Journal in compiling the 2019 list of 60 firms that promote women’s advancement by using best practices in recruiting, retaining, promoting and developing women lawyers.

The full list, available here, highlights law firms where women are increasingly taking on leadership roles and where women’s representation is increasing. Firms on the list averaged 37 percent women among new equity partners, compared with only 27 percent five years ago. Firms on this year’s list offer more extended parental leave benefits, encourage more lawyers to work remotely and use flexible hours and sponsor a variety of training and leadership programs.

Waller was recognized for increasing the representation of women at the firm. Women made up nearly half of the group of attorneys elected to partner in 2019, and more than half of the new lawyers hired in 2018 were women. Waller was also given high marks for its policies regarding overall support for women’s advancement — especially management and leadership education — and flexibility in the workplace. The firm was also lauded for its policies regarding reduced hours and remote work, compensation and leadership, and the use of surveys and communication tools to gather and report feedback from staff and attorneys.

“Our efforts are intentional and purposeful. We place a premium on mentoring and development for women throughout their careers,” said Elle McCulty, chair of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Council. Among other benefits, McCulty highlighted the firm’s strong support for re-entry of new mothers, 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. “Our ‘Paths to Partnership’ program is designed to educate and grow the firm’s next generation of leadership,” McCulty added.

“We’re pleased by the recognition, which is a direct reflection of our dedication to a more inclusive and diverse culture that supports the development and growth of all attorneys,” said Matt Burnstein, chairman of the firm.

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.

“It’s heartening to see the progress women lawyers are making at firms committed to fully utilizing these attorneys’ abilities,” said Meredith Bodgas, editor-in-chief of Working Mother. “The war for talent is increasing incentives for law firms to invest in retaining women lawyers, which is why we’re seeing more women’s initiatives and parental-support groups. By highlighting what our top firms are doing, we hope others in the legal community will follow.”

The 2019 Working Mother Best Law Firms for Women application, administered by the Working Mother Research Institute, includes more than 300 questions about attorney demographics at different levels, schedule flexibility, paid time off and parental leave, and development and retention of women.

This award is the latest in a series of external recognition programs that have recognized Waller’s work environment. In 2019, Waller was recognized as a “Best Place to Work” in both Nashville, Tennessee. and Birmingham, Alabama. That award was the direct result of an anonymous survey of employees from across all departments within the firm.

In addition, Chambers Associate, a leading tool for law school graduates and new attorneys, rated Waller as one of the leading law firms in the country when it comes to recruiting, retaining and supporting new associates.

Media Contact: 
Sarah Brawner 
Phone: 615.610.0323
Email: sarah.brawner@finnpartners.com

Source: Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP


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