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Family-friendly law firms and law departments

As the percentage of the in-house lawyers who are women climbs, it will be increasingly important for general counsel, themselves often mothers, to make easier the work-life balance of working mothers. To assess that balance, there is, not surprisingly, a survey and rating scale. Business Law Today, Vol. 16, March/April 2007 at 9, gives some background. “The August 2006 American Lawyer survey of mid-level associates at 175 firms showed the average score for family friendliness was 3.61 on a scale of one to five.” The top scoring firm was at 4.64 and 39 firms scored 4.0 or better.

We will soon see requests for proposal that ask firms to identify their flex-time options, day-care centers, concierge services, telecommuting arrangements, and other offerings in support of working moms. Additionally, law departments will assess where they stand in terms of being family-friendly and make changes to do the right thing for those who are both working and raising families (or taking care of infirm or aged relatives).