Women's Initiative and Leadership Council
Attrition is costing law firms valuable talent and experience among female attorneys.
In 2013 we launched the Women's Initiative and Leadership Council, charging it to propose policy and practice advances. AtWILC's request, we implemented the WILCWelcome Program, WILC Forum, WILCAmbassadors, WILC Resource Network, and Leave Liaisons for all attorneys approaching, experiencing or returning from extended leaves. FP has since opened Equity Partner status to reduced-scheduled attorneys and expanded its paid parental leave for primary caregivers from 12 to the flexible equivalent of 16 weeks.
Every newly arrived female attorney is the beneficiary of the WILC Welcome Program. Twenty-five female attorneys serve as WILC Ambassadors, covering all 30+ offices. WILC-sponsored client events advance the interests of female FP attorneys. Targeted efforts to attract experienced female attorneys to join FP after extended leaves of absence from other law firms (on-ramping) has resulted in three key hires.
Of 2018's twenty newly elevated partners, nine are female, including six minority females. Of the twenty, six have been elevated to equity partner, four being female, and two of the four minorities. Of the firm's six newly elevated equity partners, two are reduced-schedule partners, both female with primary caregiver responsibilities, one a minority.
Since WILC's inception, our percentage of all partners - and of equity partners - who are female has increased from 22% to 26% and from 18% to 21%, respectively.
Working Mothers magazine named FP one of its 2017 "Best Law Firms for Women," and Law360 named FP one of its 2017 "Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys."
I have joined the pledge because I am willing to contribute and to be held accountable by my peers for continuous improvement in diversity and inclusion in my law firm and in my industry. I welcome help.