The national law firm of Quarles & Brady LLP today announced that it has been included in the Law360 inaugural class of Ceiling Smashers, the 25 U.S.-based law firms out of nearly 400 surveyed that have the highest percentage of female partners. The firm was also noted as being one of seven “biglaw” firms with a woman chair.
According to the Glass Ceiling Report, based on a survey of more than 380 law firms, women make up 43 percent on nonpartner ranks at U.S. law firms, but only 21 percent of partnerships are composed of women. At Quarles & Brady, 29.5 percent of the partners are women, placing the firm well above the national average. Further, Quarles is one of only six firms on the list with more than 450 attorneys in its ranks, placing it among the top 10 firms with the most women partners in raw numbers.
“Diversity was a core value at Quarles well before it became an industry imperative,” says Firm Chair Kimberly Leach Johnson. “We are part of the Ceiling Smashers because inclusiveness is culturally engrained in the firm’s DNA, not because we arbitrarily promoted women to hit some sort of target.”
Quarles & Brady years ago adopted family-friendly work policies, such as flex-time partnership opportunities and phased return-to-work schedules for mothers following maternity leave, as well as establishing a Woman’s Forum to ensure unobstructed paths to professional success for all women. The firm similarly has developed programs designed to help law students and attorneys of color overcome barriers to upward mobility.
“It’s no coincidence that we are the only large law firm in the country to have had an African-American chairman, immediately followed by a chairwoman, and that half of our offices are led by diverse managing partners,” adds Johnson. “We hire based on ability and organizational fit, regardless of diversity status, but we’re an enthusiastically inclusive business, dedicated to seeing every attorney succeed, so we expect our woman partners and leaders to increase in number, year-in and year-out.”