Stokes Lawrence has a long history of supporting and developing women leaders in the firm. Nearly 50% of the firm’s shareholders are women, including the firm’s Managing Shareholder, and half of all of the firm’s attorneys are women. These ratios are not new. In fact, for several years in the mid-2000s, a majority of the firm’s owners were women and all members of the firm’s Executive Committee were women.
Some of the firm’s policies contribute to a successful environment for our women attorneys, including offering 12 weeks of paid family leave to all new parents, having reasonable hours expectations, offering flexible work arrangements, and not having a “mommy track” for partners. Stokes Lawrence has been recognized for its firmwide commitment to the development of women lawyers. Law360 recognized the firm, listing it among the Best Law Firms in the United States for Women, including its “Ceiling Smashers” list, which ranks the Top 40 firms with the highest percentage of women partners.
When asked why Stokes Lawrence is so successful at advancing and allowing women attorneys to flourish, women and men attorneys emphasized the firm’s culture of fairness, respect and opportunity. It is this culture that produced the policies mentioned above. The firm takes great care to ensure those who join the firm share our values. Following are some of the reasons mentioned by a few of our attorneys regarding Stokes Lawrence’s long-term success:
- Since the founding of the firm 30+ years ago, we have always had a strong tradition of women leaders and owners. This provides a variety of female role models, many of whom are not only leaders within the firm, but leaders within their practice areas and the legal profession.
- The shared expectation at the firm is that all of our attorneys can have a satisfying career and a healthy life outside of work. We don’t require special “workarounds” for women who want that.
- We are selective in our hiring, and it so happens that at least 50% of the great lawyers in our community are women.
- We appreciate a variety of talents and backgrounds and don’t expect everyone to fit into the same box.
- It is universally accepted within the firm that being a good mom or dad and being a successful lawyer aren’t mutually exclusive.