We are deeply committed to attracting, retaining and advancing women in the firm. As part of our efforts to achieve this goal, we have a vibrant Women’s Leadership Committee that has the full support of the firm and senior leadership to spearhead sustained and ongoing programs to foster the development of great women lawyers.

Women’s Leadership Committee

Our Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC) helps ensure that the firm attracts, retains and develops great women lawyers and leaders. The WLC is diversely composed and includes Drinker Biddle’s chair, executive partners and current and former managing partners. The committee recognizes and supports women lawyers’ practice-building contributions, meaningful participation in firm leadership and influence in our communities.

The WLC’s mission is threefold:

  • To hire, keep and promote excellent women lawyers
  • To facilitate business development and marketing opportunities for women
  • To advise and collaborate on issues and policies of concern to women attorneys at Drinker Biddle

The WLC helps us build a culture and workplace environment that are hospitable to career and home-life balance for both women and men. Our efforts have attracted notice: the firm has been named to the prestigious 50 Best Law Firms for Women by Working Mother in 2017, 2015, 2014, 2011 and 2009. This ranking recognizes our firm for its exceptional family friendly policies and career and business development initiatives that allow not only for the retention of women in law, but also for the opportunities for women attorneys to advance in leadership positions.

Progress and Commitment

In 2015, 66 percent of Drinker Biddle lawyers promoted to partner were women. Our percentage of female equity partners has steadily risen over the last three years to nearly 20 percent. Women comprised 50 percent of our partner-track associates in 2015—a significant leap from five years prior, when that same statistic was just 12 percent.

One-third of our elected managing partners are women, as are 36 percent of our regional partners-in-charge (heads of office) and 40 percent of our practice group chairs and vice chairs.

To help benchmark our success, the firm is a signatory to the Chicago Bar Association’s Call to Action on Women’s Leadership in the Legal Profession and to the Statement of Goals of Philadelphia Law Firms and Legal Departments for the Retention and Promotion of Women. We are also a sponsoring member of the Chicago Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law firms.

womens committee

Groundbreaking Initiatives

Some of our career and business development initiatives that support women at our firm include:

  • Our gender-neutral paid parental leave policy, which grants all lawyers up to 12 weeks of time with their new baby following birth, adoption, or foster care placement. The leave doesn’t have to take place immediately, which allows lawyers flexibility to stagger their leave at any time within six months after a child joins the family.
  • Our business development training program for all attorneys that teaches lawyers key skills to advance in their careers. The WLC furthered this program with rainmaking forums and other initiatives that are open to all female attorneys.
  • Our draft Parental Leave Mentoring Toolkit and Program, which is a one-stop guide to the firm’s parental and family leave benefits as well as best practices for client hand-off and return to work. The developing program will offer counseling and advice to attorneys at any stage of their leave, including preparation for, during and upon return from leave. 

In addition to these groundbreaking initiatives, the WLC tracks the hiring, retention and advancement of all of the firms’ attorneys, including female and diverse attorneys, and routinely brings those results to the attention of firm management and partners.

The WLC also coordinates business development programs and holds informal breakfast meetings to create career development and networking opportunities.

Featured Insights & News

News | October 10, 2017
Cheryl Orr Quoted by SHRM on FLSA and State Overtime Pay Rules
Cheryl discussed differences between the Fair Labor Standards Act and state overtime wage laws.

News | October 2, 2017
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News | September 28, 2017
Beth Diffley Featured in Intelligent Insurer
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News | September 27, 2017
Cheryl Orr Quoted by SHRM on Federal and State Record-keeping Requirements
Cheryl discussed the steps employers should take in order to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as state-specific record-keeping requirements.

News | September 26, 2017
Katherine Armstrong Quoted in FTC Watch on FTC's New Blog Series
Katherine Armstrong commented on how the FTC’s blog can help companies in their efforts to upgrade cybersecurity measures.

News | September 25, 2017
Kate Gold Quoted by SHRM on DOJ Regulations and Website Accessibility Claims
The DOJ has abandoned its plans to write regulations for private employers to follow for website accessibility.

Publication | September 22, 2017
Carrie DeLange Authors Piece Honoring Judge Harry D. Leinenweber
The Federal Lawyer article celebrated the Northern District of Illinois judge and his 31 years of influence from the bench.

News | September 19, 2017
Mira Baylson Selected as Co-Recipient of the University of Pennsylvania Law School's 2017 Young Alumni Award
The annual award recognizes an alumnus/a for his/her professional achievements since graduation.

News | September 11, 2017
Joan Neri Quoted in ACA Insight on DOL’s Proposed Extension of Fiduciary Rule Transition Period
Joan Neri was quoted in an article that discussed the DOL’s proposed measures to delay full implementation of the fiduciary rule.

News | September 11, 2017
Andrea Best Quoted on InsurTech in Intelligent Insurer
Andrea Best discussed the latest insurtech developments and trends.

News | August 31, 2017
Ilisa Halpern Paul Quoted in National Journal Regarding ACA Repeal and Replace Measures
Ilisa Halpern Paul discusses how delays to Affordable Care Act reform are affecting other important health care legislation.

News | August 24, 2017
Sarah Millar Quoted by Society for Human Resource Management on Employer Wellness Programs
Sarah Millar was quoted in an article on the Society for Human Resource Management website regarding a district court’s recent ruling on wellness programs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules regarding fees.

News | August 18, 2017
Sumaya Noush Quoted in Health Care Compliance Association’s Report on Patient Privacy on Updated HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool
Sumaya Noush discussed updates in features and functionality of the Office for Civil Rights’ revised HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool.

News | August 7, 2017
Lynne Anderson Quoted in SHRM on EEO-1 Pay Reporting HR Challenge
Lynne Anderson highlights the challenge of setting up human resources information systems and the time it will take employers to slot their job descriptions into the EEO-1 categories.

News | August 2, 2017
Cheryl Orr Quoted in Human Resource Executive Online on Microchips in Employees
Cheryl discusses the legal issues and potential for abuse now that some technology companies have begun microchipping their employees.

News | July 25, 2017
Drinker Biddle Named One of the 50 Best Law Firms for Women
The prestigious list recognizes law firms that successfully retain and promote women lawyers, and that are actively committed to improving the status of women at work.

News | May 24, 2017
Meredith Slawe Honored Among Philadelphia Business Journal's "40 Under 40"
Meredith was profiled in a Q&A and honored at a dinner for all recipients of the award.