At Drinker Biddle we don't select leaders who "fit the profile.” We select and cultivate accomplished lawyers who can shape our future and ensure that those within our leadership ranks—and throughout the broader firm—reflect the diversity of our clients and our communities.
Over the past few years we have made significant strides in this important regard and achieved several notable milestones. We have been particularly successful in attracting, retaining and promoting outstanding women attorneys.
This is not by chance. The cadre of women leaders at Drinker Biddle and the “pipeline” of those being readied for leadership are the result of an enlightened philosophy that starts at the very top of the organization and infuses and informs all of our key initiatives.
Women hold positions at the highest reaches of the firm. Benchmarked data from Yale University and McKinsey & Co., among others, shows that Drinker Biddle outperforms the legal industry at large in several related categories. The statistics are compelling. From a pool of more than 200 women attorneys, many have assumed significant leadership responsibilities. Many more are poised to follow.
Today, women represent:
With respect to key statistics calculated and reported by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), Drinker Biddle consistently outpaces the industry. For instance, the percentage of women currently sitting on the firm’s most senior committee far exceeds the industry average of 25 percent.
Moreover, Drinker Biddle is recognized by reputable outside entities for its women-oriented and family-friendly practices. We are consistently included on the list of the “60 Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine, most recently in 2018.
The rise of women through the ranks at Drinker Biddle is a function of their talents and tenacity combined with an environment that encourages their growth as lawyers and leaders.
- Managing Partners. Elected by the full partnership, managing partners sit on the firm’s Board of Directors. Fully half of them are women.
- Management Commitment. Our four-member Executive Management Team—two of whom are women—“walk the talk” with respect to implementing initiatives that attract women to the firm and facilitate their rise to leadership roles. Management has generously given its time and talents to support diversity initiatives, marshal the involvement of appropriate others and ensure the availability of sufficient resources to allow Drinker Biddle women to thrive.
Women’s Leadership Committee (WLC). Comprising Drinker Biddle’s chairman, chief operating officer, a representation of current and former managing partners and current partners and associates, the WLC is charged with “attracting, retaining and advancing” women in the firm and spearheading the development and implementation of all related programs.
The WLC enjoys leadership’s commitment, a robust budget and access to resources throughout the firm. It facilitates business development and marketing opportunities for women and provides a culture and workplace environment hospitable toward all employees. Under its auspices, women attorneys throughout the firm convene for professional development and networking opportunities that have included a two-day firmwide retreat and more-frequent gatherings at our various offices. The WLC has worked closely with the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee on many initiatives, most recently the firm’s launch of a Pilot Sponsorship Program led by the D&I Committee to pair diverse lawyers with influential partners as sponsors to engage in meaningful work and networking opportunities, thus helping them further hone the skill sets they’ll need for successful legal careers.
- Work/Life Balance. Drinker Biddle is committed to supporting all types of families and lifestyles. Our lawyers are able to build significant practices, meaningfully participate in firm leadership and play important roles in their communities, all while starting and supporting families. Our policies support alternative work arrangements—including reduced-hour schedules and remote working accommodations—competency-based promotions and a generous gender-neutral paid parental leave policy.
- Mentorship & Sponsorship. Drinker Biddle partners create opportunities for women attorneys through lead roles in deals and cases, introductions to key clients and inclusion in various business development events with prospective clients. Women attorneys also are encouraged to take advantage of business development coaching programs and “rainmaker” forums.
- Diversity & Inclusion. Drinker Biddle places the highest premium on fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. It starts at the top. Our leadership is actively involved in identifying and, in several instances, initiating best practices to be applied both firm and industry-wide. Chairman Andy Kassner has participated in the Diversity Lab Hackathon, an idea incubator comprising lawyers and law students, with strong support from the Women’s Leadership Committee. Andy’s Hackathon team helped give rise to the “Sponsorship Key” program designed to more effectively match sponsors and protégés in law firms and strengthen their collaborations.
- Mansfield Commitment. Another initiative stemming from Drinker Biddle’s involvement in the Diversity Lab is the firm’s status as a signatory to Mansfield Rule 2.0 and our commitment to meeting its exacting criteria. Named for Arabella Mansfield, the first licensed woman lawyer in the United States, the program is designed to boost the representation of women, LGBTQ+ and lawyers from diverse backgrounds in law firms. Notably, Drinker Biddle has long adhered to most if not all Mansfield criteria and proudly championed a variation of this worthy program.
- Influence in the Broader Legal Community. Several of our women partners chair or otherwise lead legal organizations; all are members of one or more. Thought leaders in their respective practice areas, these attorneys are much in demand as speakers in prestigious forums and contribute to important publications. Drinker Biddle also supports organizations and events that promote the advancement of women lawyers and that honor all those who exemplify enlightened leadership.
Accomplished attorneys, WLC members are also proven leaders—within the firm and throughout the broader legal, business and governmental communities. Drinker Biddle is proud to claim so many who have succeeded in these important endeavors, especially considering their dedication to extensive personal responsibilities. We’re equally proud of those coming up right behind them, ascending the ranks, making meaningful contributions and destined to appear in their distinguished company in due course.
Featured Insights & News
Event | May 9, 2019
Jessica Abrahams, Cheryl Orr and Courtney Wylie to Attend Daily Journal’s Women Leadership in Law Forum
We’re proud to be a platinum sponsor for the Daily Journal's third annual Women Leadership in Law event.
News | May 8, 2019
Cheryl Orr Named One of California’s Top Women Lawyers
The annual list recognizes women lawyers who demonstrate excellent lawyering and leadership skills in the state.
News | April 10, 2019
Josephine Cicchetti Named a Top Author on Insurance, Cybersecurity in Readers Choice Awards | JD Supra
From a group of more than 50,000 contributors to the platform, Cicchetti was the third most read author on Insurance topics, and the ninth most read on Cybersecurity issues in 2018.
News | March 8, 2019
Jill Bronson and Judy Reich Recognized for "Women in Commercial Finance 2019" by The Secured Lender
Jill and Judy have been recognized by the Commercial Finance Association and interviewed by The Secured Lender for its 2019 Women in Commercial Finance issue as women who have distinguished themselves within the commercial finance industry.
News | February 15, 2019
Jennifer Criss Named Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
American Bar Foundation Fellows are recommended by their peers and elected by the Board of the American Bar Foundation.
News | February 14, 2019
Andy Kassner and Lynne Anderson Discuss Career Advancement for Women in a Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Article
Andy and Lynne discussed what it takes to effectuate change and advance more women into leadership roles in law firms.
News | January 28, 2019
Maria Lewis Recognized for Advancement and Equality in the Legal Profession
Maria recently received two prestigious awards: the Justice Juanita Kidd Stout Woman of Distinction Award from The Barristers’ Association of Philadelphia, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Champions of Social Justice and Equality Award from the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) of Rutgers Law School-Camden.
News | January 23, 2019
Drinker Biddle's Executive Women's Forum Hosts Jean Case for Discussion on Being Fearless
Jean discussed how everyone can find that inner spark to create change in the world.
News | January 16, 2019
Sandy Grannum Noted Among The Network Journal's Annual 25 Influential Black Women
The award recognizes professional women for their distinguished careers and dedication to serving their communities.
News | January 1, 2019
New York Partners Named to Crain's 2019 Notable Women in Law
Bonnie Barsamian, Kristin Going and Stacy Louizos were recognized by Crain’s New York Business as 2019 Notable Women in Law. The annual list recognizes the top New York City lawyers for both their outstanding legal achievements and their civic and philanthropic engagement.
News | December 21, 2018
Drinker Biddle Recognized For Innovation in Fall Diversity in Law Hackathon
Andy Kassner participated in the national event.
News | November 29, 2018
Partner Sandy Grannum to be Honored with New York State Bar Association Award
Sandy will be recognized for her dedication to mentoring other female lawyers and her efforts in ensuring a more diverse legal community.
News | November 15, 2018
Cheryl Orr, Susan Sharko and Courtney Wylie Speak at the Daily Journal's 2018 NorCal Women Leadership in Law Forum
Drinker Biddle was proud to be a platinum sponsor for the Daily Journal’s second annual Women Leadership in Law event.
News | November 5, 2018
Susan Sharko Named Among 2018 Top Women in the Law by New Jersey Law Journal
The New Jersey Law Journal honored Susan Sharko in its November 5 Special Supplement Issue.
News | October 17, 2018
Andy Kassner and Jennifer Breuer on How to Be Intentional About Promoting Women
Andy and Jennifer took part in a discussion at the Ninth Annual LCLD Membership Meeting, sharing thoughts on creating a work environment where all women can succeed.
News | October 16, 2018
Drinker Biddle’s Executive Women’s Forum Hosts Mika Brzezinski for Discussion on Career Advancement
The discussion was moderated by Washington D.C. partner and chair of the firm's Government Contracts Team Jessica Abrahams.
News | August 27, 2018
Drinker Biddle Implements Mansfield Rule 2.0
Commits to affirmatively consider women, LGBTQ+ and minority lawyers for promotions, lateral hiring and leadership roles.
News | July 31, 2018
Drinker Biddle Named a Best Law Firm for Women by Working Mother
The prestigious list recognizes law firms with exceptional family-friendly policies and career and business development initiatives for women lawyers.
News | July 18, 2018
Cheryl Orr Named in Daily Journal’s Top Labor & Employment Lawyers 2018
Cheryl has been named in the Daily Journal’s list of the Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in California.
News | July 1, 2018
Helen Tuttle Recognized in Savoy Magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers of 2018
The listing showcases African-American men and women who have been recognized for their legal leadership and expertise in national and global-leading corporations.
News | June 28, 2018
Mercedes Meyer Recognized in the 2018 Edition of IAM Strategy 300
IAM Strategy 300 ranks lawyers who lead the way in strategies that maximize the value of IP portfolios.
News | June 1, 2018
Cheryl Orr Discusses Opportunities and Challenges for Practical Law with Columbia Law School Classmates
Cheryl joined Paul Greco and Tod Eggenberger to discuss their connections and career trajectories following law school.
News | May 30, 2018
Lora A. Brzezynski Joins Drinker Biddle’s Intellectual Property Group
Experienced trial lawyer expands the firm’s IP and trade secret litigation capabilities in the life sciences and electronic areas.
News | May 18, 2018
Judy Reich Recognized by Executive Women of New Jersey
Award honors most accomplished and influential leaders in business, government and academia.
News | May 2, 2018
Andy Kassner, Jane Koehl and Cheryl Orr Attend Daily Journal’s Women Leadership in Law Conference
We're proud to be a platinum sponsor for the Daily Journal's second annual Women Leadership in Law event.
News | May 2, 2018
Cheryl Orr Selected as One of Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers in California
Cheryl Orr has been honored for the third consecutive year, celebrating her successful defense of wage and hour class action cases and promotion of women leadership.
News | April 16, 2018
Tracey Salmon-Smith Joins Drinker Biddle’s Litigation Group
Continues expansion of financial services capabilities in broker-dealer, FINRA areas.
News | April 11, 2018
Drinker Biddle Receives 2018 Promotion of Women in Law Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association
The award recognizes the firm for providing mentoring and other opportunities that support the advancement of women lawyers.
News | February 12, 2018
Jen Breuer Serves as Editor of AHLA Telehealth Law Handbook
Jen serves as the editor for the second edition of the AHLA Telehealth Law Handbook.
News | February 8, 2018
Cheryl Orr and James Sawyer Honored with Client Choice Awards
Cheryl and James were recognized for the quality of their client service.
News | February 6, 2018
Drinker Biddle Announces New Managing Partners and Executive Partners
Achieves milestone as women now comprise 50 percent of senior management.
News | February 6, 2018
Jennifer Dean, Darren Cahr and Drinker Biddle’s IP team Ranked in World Trademark Review 1000 for 2018
The World Trademark Review 1000 recognized Drinker Biddle's Intellectual Property Practice Group for its depth of experience and dedication to customer care.
News | February 1, 2018
Drinker Biddle Names Five New Partners
They reside in three different offices and span four of the firm’s practices.
Event | December 1, 2017
Making the Most of a Women’s Network
Lynne Anderson moderated a discussion about women’s employee resource groups at the annual conference, which is designed to encourage and support women in STEM.
News | November 2, 2017
District Policy Group's Ilisa Halpern Paul and Jodie Curtis Named to The Hill's 2017 Top Lobbyists List
The Hill’s annual list recognizes prominent lobbyists who have made their mark on Capitol Hill and in the administration.
News | October 20, 2017
Andy Kassner, Cheryl Orr and Judy Reich to Attend National Summit on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law
The invitation-only summit will be held at Harvard Law School and will examine the high rate of attrition among women lawyers.