For the first time, The American Lawyer’s A-List this year factors the percentage of women who are equity partners into firms’ rankings.
No firms in Atlanta made the top 10 for the latest A-List, which was released July 26. But four firms with an Atlanta presence were among the top 10 firms based solely on the percentage of women equity partners—including No. 1-ranked Fragomen Del Rey.
The American Lawyer, an ALM affiliate of the Daily Report, introduced the A-List in 2002 to assess the nation’s largest law firms on qualities other than revenue and profit. It scores the Am Law 200, which are the largest U.S. firms based on revenue, in five categories: racial diversity, pro bono hours, associate satisfaction, revenue per lawyer—and now percentage of women in their equity partnership. Pro bono and revenue per lawyer are given double weight in the scoring, which is then converted to a 100-point scale.
No Am Law 200 firm reported gender parity for their equity partnerships, where half of those sharing in the profits are female. Fragomen, a national immigration law firm, ranked the highest in the percentage of women equity partners, reporting 41 percent.
Two labor and employment firms with Atlanta offices also made the top 10: Littler Mendelson was No. 3 with 29.2 percent women equity partners and Jackson Lewis was No. 8 with 24.9 percent.
Ballard Spahr, at No. 6, was the only general practice firm in the top 10 with an Atlanta office. Based in Philadelphia, the firm reported that women make up 25.2 percent of its equity partners.
According to sibling publication The National Law Journal, women make up 46 percent of associates at large firms on average, and 21.8 percent of partners.
Nationally, women make up, on average, 18 percent of equity partners at Am Law 200 firms, based on a 2015 National Association of Women Lawyers survey. (However, only 73 of those firms participated in the survey.) That percentage has increased by only two percentage points since NAWL’s initial 2006 survey almost a decade earlier.
Four firms with an Atlanta presence were also represented among the 10 lowest-ranked firms for women equity partners: Kasowitz Benson Torres, at the very bottom of the list, reported 2.6 percent women equity partners. Carlton Fields Jorden Burt reported 8.7 percent, followed by Gordon Rees and Burr & Forman with 9.10 percent each.
Of the 10 Atlanta-based firms in the Am Law 200, three did not provide female equity partner data to The American Lawyer: Arnall Golden Gregory, King & Spalding and Troutman Sanders.
Here is how the other seven Atlanta-based firms fared in terms of percentage of female equity partners:
Morris Manning & Martin, ranked at No. 43 with 19.9 percent; Fisher & Phillips, No. 72 with 17.7; Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, No. 75 with 17.6; Alston & Bird, No. 82 with 17.3 percent; Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, No. 122 with 14.9 percent; Sutherland Asbill & Brennan (now Eversheds Sutherland), No. 128 with 14.3 percent; and Smith, Gambrell & Russell, No. 141 with 13.7 percent.