Since 2006, Rubin Fortunato & Harbison has come in first or second on our ranking of firms based on the percentage of full-time women attorneys in Pennsylvania. This year, the 42-lawyer firm topped our list with nearly 52.4 percent of its attorneys being women. Of the 42 lawyers in the firm, which only has offices in Pennsylvania, 11 are partners, 10 are associates and one is of counsel.
Littler Mendelson, an international labor and employment boutique with Pennsylvania offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, ranked second this year. The firm has 50 full-time attorneys in Pennsylvania and 52 percent of those are women. There are 11 female partners, 14 associates and one of counsel. The firm also has female leadership locally, with Kristine Grady Derewicz serving as managing shareholder of the Philadelphia office.
Rubin Fortunato shareholder Michael J. Fortunato said the firm doesn't intentionally have a high percentage of female lawyers. He said the firm hires who it believes are the most talented attorneys to handle client matters.
"I would like to think that considering the critical mass of female attorneys that we have ... we offer a balanced approach to practicing law because we have a critical mass and everybody's viewpoint is represented," Fortunato said.
He said the firm created an atmosphere that allowed for a balanced approach to practicing law and that in turn resulted in more women remaining with the firm. That critical mass of women then helps steward that environment even further, Fortunato said.
Derewicz said Littler Mendelson has a core contingent of women who have seniority in the firm and who have been very successful both professionally and personally.
"When you have people who have demonstrated success, it's much easier to recruit young women," Derewicz said.
More importantly, she said, having that track record makes the firm much more effective at retaining women who sometimes hit a time in their careers when they may feel pressed for time but can look around the office and see other women are getting it all done.
"When you have it, you get more of it," Derewicz said.
She also noted that Littler Mendelson is supportive of both men and women taking a flex-time or part-time approach to their career.