August 14, 2007

Baker & Daniels Among "Best Law Firms for Women"

Working Mother magazine has named Baker & Daniels LLP to its "Best Law Firms for Women" list, which appears in the August/September 2007 issue.

"We're honored that our commitment to a family-friendly, flexible work environment has been recognized by such a respected organization," said Brian K. Burke, CEO and chairman of Baker & Daniels. "Working mothers are an asset to our workforce, and we're committed to helping them succeed both personally and professionally."

Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC (a national consulting firm advising law firms) conducted the inaugural survey, collecting 2006 data from law firms with 50 or more lawyers. Firms provided information about female representation, women's initiatives, workplace culture, flexibility, compensation, advancement and more.

Baker & Daniels – a law firm with offices in Indianapolis, South Bend, Elkhart, Fort Wayne, Washington D.C. and China – reports that 17 percent of its lawyers are mothers. The firm offers flex time, reduced hours, full-time work-at-home options, telecommuting and a three-month paid maternity leave for biological and adoptive parents. In addition, Baker & Daniels' reduced-hours program allows attorneys to work less than full time and earn partnership credit.

Ellen Boshkoff, a partner who leads the firm's employment litigation practice group and has served in several firm-wide leadership positions, helped implement the policy. Since the firm had no specific guidelines for working less than full time when Boshkoff requested it, she proposed and negotiated an arrangement that would become the formalized reduced-hours program.

"At the time there were very few lawyers working less than full time, and most of them worked on specified days during the week," Boshkoff said. "I asked for a different arrangement, which was simply a reduction in billable hour goals. We now have a formal reduced-hours policy, which allows for pro rata compensation and partnership credit for qualifying associates."

The policy, fully endorsed by the firm's leadership, is also a key recruiting tool.

"Our programs take a realistic and long-term view of a professional's life," said Baker & Daniels partner Francina A. Dlouhy, a member of the firm's management team and team leader of the firm's state and local tax practice group. "We recognize that there are many stages in one's life and that during some of those stages more flexibility is needed than at others.

"We also recognize that a talented professional will want to continue to develop her skills and expand her practice even though she has increased demands on her time due to personal obligations," Dlouhy added.

In 2006, Baker & Daniels was named one of the top three law firms in the U.S. based on opportunities for women according to a survey by the Women's Law Association at Harvard Law School. This year, the firm was one of 20 companies named to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's "Best Places to Work in Indiana" list.

Founded in 1863, Baker & Daniels has more than 375 lawyers and consulting professionals serving clients in regional, national and international business matters from its offices in Indiana, Washington, D.C. and China. For information about Baker & Daniels, visit www.bakerdaniels.com.

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