The annual Yale Law School list of top family friendly law firms just came out—and it’s largely predictable, except for this shocker: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz gets a mention (in a positive way!) in one of the key categories.
Yes, we’re talking about that Wachtell Lipton—the infamously hard-driving, work-til-you-drop firm. And, as if you need reminding, Wachtell is crazy profitable—the profit per partner there approaches $5 million.
But before we get to the warmer, fuzzier Wachtell, let’s first pay our respects to the firms that made it to Yale’s top 10 list for family friendliness:
• Arnold & Porter
• Baker Botts
• Hogan Lovells US
• Hunton & Williams
• Kirkland & Ellis
• Morrison & Foerster
• Munger, Tolles & Olson
• Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
• Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
• Vinson & Elkins
A fine list, basically stocked with firms with progressive reputations. Though there are some notable omissions this year (such as Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr—usually a perennial) and some new comers (Munger Tolles; Paul Weiss), the list consists of firms that aspire to be good corporate citizens—you know, the AmLaw A-list aspirant type. And yes, Arnold & Porter made the list for the eighth year in a row, burnishing its reputation as the standard bearer of liberal guilt in the legal community.
But Wachtell, which has always been unapologetic about its workaholic culture, registering a blip on the family-friendly radar? Now, that’s counterintuitive. For whatever it’s worth, Yale is spotlighting it for having one of the highest percentage of part-time associates—an honor it shared with four far less intense firms: Arnold & Porter, Duane Morris, Hunton & Williams, and Squire Sanders.
Of course, we have no idea what part-time at Wachtell entails. (We asked Wachtell for a comment about this honor but have not heard from the firm.) Does it mean that instead of billing 2,800 hours a year, you only have to work 2,300 hours?
Not to be presumptuous, but I‘m willing to bet that working part-time at Wachtell won’t put you any place near the partnership track. Just a hunch.
Tomorrow: What the Yale family-friendly list really means.