Katten Named One of the 2012 "50 Best Law Firms for Women" by Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers

Firm News | November 14, 2012

(CHICAGO) Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced today that the firm was named one of the Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers “50 Best Law Firms for Women” for the fifth consecutive time. Firms are evaluated based on their family-friendly policies and business development initiatives that are retaining women and advancing them into the leadership pipeline.

“Katten is committed to giving our female attorneys the support they need to reach high levels of success,” said Vincent A. F. Sergi, Katten’s national managing partner. “Inclusion on the list of 50 best firms is a great acknowledgement of the innovative programs we’ve implemented to support, develop and retain our women attorneys.”

Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers founded the “50 Best Law Firms for Women” initiative in 2007 to celebrate the law firms that are most successful in retaining and promoting female lawyers. The goal is also to give firms the benchmarking tools to enable them to improve the status of women in their firms. In September, Katten was named one of Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies.

Katten was specifically praised for its Women’s Leadership Forum, established in 2004, which enables female attorneys to network with potential clients and senior mentors while benefitting from sessions on topics ranging from financial wellness to work-life balance. Additionally, the firm’s backup care program was cited, which offers subsidized coverage for backup care for children or aging parents in the home or at a facility in a location of preference.

“Katten provides the tools and a community of support for women to network and share information with each other and with other women in the industry,” said Victoria Shusterman, real estate partner and national chair of Katten’s Women’s Leadership Forum. “The firm has taken a leadership role in developing programs and initiatives to assist attorneys with defining, achieving and managing their career goals both within the firm and in the larger business community.”

Katten promotes the strategic retention and advancement of women by creating and maintaining an environment that recognizes, cultivates and utilizes the talent of its female attorneys to expand and create business opportunities and achieve long-term success. Female attorneys are offered on-site and online courses in continuing education and are reimbursed for seminars outside the office that they complete to qualify for continuing legal education credit.

Additionally, Katten offers innovative leave and flexibility policies. For example, to ease the transition back to work, Katten offers attorneys the 60/60/80 Program following the firm’s three-month paid maternity or adoption leave. This includes a 60 percent work schedule for the first two months following maternity leave and an 80 percent work schedule for the third month. In addition, after completing a fifth year of work at the firm, associates at Katten can take a one-month paid sabbatical that can be added onto maternity leave. Attorneys can also request alternative work schedules allowing them the flexibility to meet both client and family needs.

Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media, said, “Nearly one-third of women lawyers are leaving the legal workforce independent of maternity leave. The Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers ‘50 Best Law Firms for Women’ have led the way in creating new models for the rest of their profession in promoting women and developing more generous work life policies. These firms deserve recognition for working to improve women’s advancement and to equalize their compensation and access to business development.”

Deborah Epstein Henry, president of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, stated, “These firms understand that their efforts towards women need to expand to not only focus on work life issues but also on women gaining access to sponsors as well as business development and leadership opportunities. We hope these firms will lead the charge to further improve the status of women in the profession by creating structural change within the law firm model as well as empowering women to take the individual action steps they need to make sustainable change.”

Working Mother magazine reaches more than two million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. This year marks the 27th anniversary of the magazine’s signature research initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies.

Flex-Time Lawyers LLC is an international consulting firm founded by Deborah Epstein Henry in the late 1990s, providing advisory, training and speaking services to employers and professionals on work life balance, retaining and promoting women and new models of legal practice.

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