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Baker Donelson Named Among 2021 "Best Law Firms for Women"

Baker Donelson was named today to the prestigious list of "Best Law Firms for Women" by Seramount (formerly Working Mother Media). This is the fifth consecutive year the Firm achieved this recognition, which honors the top 50 firms that utilize best practices in recruiting, retaining, promoting and developing women lawyers.

The full list, available here, highlights law firms that averaged 25 percent women among equity partners, compared with 23 percent last year, and women represented 40 percent of all lawyers overall (up from 39 percent in 2020). Of all female equity partners, 16 percent were multicultural, and multicultural women represented 27 percent of overall women lawyers (up from 26 percent).

Christy Tosh Crider, chair of Baker Donelson's Women's Initiative and chair of the Firm's Health Care Litigation Group, said, "The countless challenges resulting from the pandemic placed a disproportionate burden on women. Baker Donelson addressed those challenges with creativity, agility and compassion. Our Firm's leadership was committed to ensuring everyone had the support and freedom to weather the pandemic and continue to flourish. In fact, more than half of our new equity shareholders this year were women. Baker Donelson's commitment to ensuring women succeed and thrive is ingrained in our culture and we are proud to once again be recognized for it."

In the face of the massive uncertainty of the pandemic, Baker Donelson introduced a series of wellness initiatives to support their more than 1,200 employees, with a particular focus on working parents who were juggling work while managing children who were virtual learning or had limited childcare options. Among the initiatives were a Childcare Education Credit policy that allows both billable hour credit and working attorney credit for child education efforts, and an intranet site, BakerVillage, where attorneys were able to share information such as virtual learning program recommendations, virtual tutors and meal services.

"We know that women have left the workplace in droves since the onset of COVID-19," said Subha V. Barry, CEO of Seramount. "But the fact that representation of women equity partners, and women lawyers overall, has increased during this turbulent time just shows how supportive our Best Law Firms for Women are to parents and caregivers. They stepped up and offered increased flexibility and new benefit programs to help this critical talent pool balance both work and homelife."

Through its Women's Initiative, Baker Donelson has implemented numerous key initiatives designed to create an environment where female attorneys thrive, including an industry-leading parental leave policy, a Firm-wide mentoring program for women, a program that awards business development grants to women attorneys, and a training program designed to help women attorneys achieve equity shareholder status.

About the Methodology

Seramount's 2021 Best Law Firms for Women application includes more than 300 questions about attorney demographics at different levels, schedule flexibility, paid time off and parental leaves, and development and retention of women. This year, in light of COVID-19, several questions were added about the success of working from home for lawyers.

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Johanna Burkett
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