Walk into any Big Law office these days, chances are it’ll share a few things: Beautiful, expensive art work, a receptionist, a waiting area and plenty of conference rooms. So what makes one firm a better place to work?
Fortune Magazine named six law firms to its 2016 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For , citing their mentoring programs, workplace flexibility, benefits and support for new parents, as pluses for company employees.
Among the perks offered by all or nearly all of the six firms are telecommuting, a compressed work week, health insurance for part-timers, gym memberships or on-site fitness centers, paid time off for volunteering and tuition reimbursement.
Size appeared to be another common factor among those who made the list, with all the firms having more than 1,200 employees in the U.S. and one, Perkins Coie, reporting more than 2,100 employees.
Two other common features among the chosen six firms – approximately half of their employees are female and their voluntary turnover rate among full-time employees is 12 percent or lower.
The highest ranking law firm on the list at #28 is Palo Alto, Calif.-based Cooley LLP which jumped from #42 last year. Fortune noted in its profile that partners at this Silicon Valley firm are compensated on their overall contribution to the firm. The magazine quotes one employee as saying “there are no big egos or hierarchical structures.”
When asked by Big Law Business to what the firm attributed its high ranking, Cooley Chief Executive Officer Joe Conroy cited, in part, a “culture of collegiality and excellence.”
The other firms on the list are as follows:
•No. 32 Baker Donelson - Based in Memphis, Tenn., the firm’s chair and CEO, Ben Adams, said that the recognition will “help us attract and keep the top talent we need to continually raise the bar when it comes to performance.”
•No. 37 Perkins Coie - It’s the 14thyear that the firm was named to the list. Among the positive qualities mentioned by Fortune are its egalitarian approach, its mentoring programs and efforts at encouraging employees to take time to recharge.
•No. 41 Alston & Bird - Placing for its 17th time, the firm offers perks for new mothers, including up to 18 weeks paid leave for attorneys, reserved parking spots and on-site child care, Fortune said.
•No. 81 Arnold & Porter - This marks the 12th time the firm has placed on Fortune’s list. The magazine said that among the benefits the firm offers is writing coaches for new associates.
•No. 91 Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe - After not appearing on the list in 2015, Orrick has re-emerged to take a place on the list for its third time. In addition to offering mentoring and coaching to its attorneys and staff, Fortune notes that the firm awards its employees to be innovative, offering a $50,000 innovation prize.