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Work Life Winner: Addleshaw Goddard: A Model for Attorney Retention Best Practices


Addleshaw Goddard is a leading British law firm with over 500 lawyers.  A few years ago, the firm decided to make a concerted effort to improve its retention of women attorneys. A working group was set up and the project soon expanded to consider the personal needs of male attorneys from two-career families as well.

The outcome was a slew of work life balance initiatives that ultimately earned Addleshaw Goddard recognition in 2006 from the Sunday Times as one of the `100 Best Companies To Work For,' and qualify the firm as a "Work Life Winner" in our book.

One change involved publicizing the variety of flexible working arrangements available at the firm such as annualized hour plans, and compressed work weeks. More importantly, firm management made it clear that these arrangements were a fully acceptable and normal way of working; indeed, a high percentage of the firm's leaders are women who practiced under flexible working arrangements.

Another innovation was the introduction of a new rank - legal director - thereby creating an alternative career path to partnership.

Also impressive is a mentoring scheme to provide young attorneys with confidential career support, and an extensive professional development program that provides training in five areas:

  • Technical Skills & Knowledge
  • Client & Business Development
  • Team & People Management
  • Finance & Resource Management
  • Achievement Orientation

Read further details in this article by the firm's head of diversity, Monica Burch (also a firm board member).

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