Chicago Lawyer Magazine recently conducted its 2019 Diversity Survey of the 100 largest law firms in Illinois and found that ten of the 20 largest law firms in Illinois—including five of the top 10—have women as managing partner, partner-in-charge, or co-managing partner of their Chicago offices. Unfortunately, though, those numbers aren’t reflected down the line. Chicago Lawyer spoke to the women leaders at all ten firms to learn what programs they offered to retain and promote women within their organizations and what they have learned throughout their careers. Lawyer career overview.
Linda Coberly is Winston & Strawn’s Chicago Office Managing Partner and Chair of the firm’s Appellate & Critical Motions Practice. When asked what Winston is doing to support women across the firm, she highlighted the importance of providing support for lawyers raising families.
“We must make sure that our policies do not perpetuate the myth that child-rearing is a women’s issue and incompatible with a high-performance career—a myth that still persists in our profession and continues to stand in the way of opportunity for women.”
With this in mind, Winston has adopted a parental leave program that provides the same generous amount of leave for all of our lawyers, regardless of gender.
“Our male attorneys want to be involved parents, too,” said Linda. “And the reality is that women do better work in environments where men, too, take paternal leave.”