In October 2006, Oregon Women Lawyers honored the law firm of Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf as the recipient of the first-ever OWLS Workplace Leader Award.
The award recognizes a legal employer who is taking innovative measures to maximize opportunities for women and minorities to succeed in the workplace and advance to positions of influence and leadership.
Markowitz, Herbold, Glade & Mehlhaf, a Portland litigation firm, was honored for its outstanding efforts to promote a healthy work/life balance by facilitating and respecting flexible time commitments to the firm, creating real opportunities for part-time lawyers, and committing to generous parental leave for all its employees.
These measures are all too rare in the legal profession, in which women and minorities face numerous barriers that may prevent them from advancing in their careers, such as long hours, unpredictable schedules, and partnership tracks that don’t allow for part-time work. These challenges can be particularly difficult for women, who often bear primary responsibility for child rearing.
Markowitz Herbold’s practice of providing for flexible time commitments is particularly innovative, allowing lawyers to indicate each year how many hours they will commit to the firm. The firm respects that commitment and sets their pay accordingly—and lawyers generally work at the level they committed to work. While a lawyer’s hours commitment will affect his or her pay, it is not a factor in partnership selection. In addition, all the firm’s lawyers and staff (male and female) are eligible for three months’ paid leave following the birth of a child. This is significantly longer than the leave typically offered by legal employers, and it extends to parents of both genders.
OWLS congratulates Markowitz Herbold for its groundbreaking policies. They inspire us as we work to make these innovations the norm, rather than the exception, in the practice of law.