OWLS bestowed its 2007 Workplace Leader Award on two law firms — Farleigh Wada Witt and Bodyfelt Mount. The award recognizes innovative legal employers who actively promote the ideals that are important to OWLS members, including maintaining a healthy work/life balance, acquiring and maintaining a diverse workforce, and maximizing opportunities for women and minorities to succeed in the workplace and advance to positions of influence and leadership.
The awards were accepted by Bodyfelt partner Deanna Wray and Farleigh Witt shareholder Karen Saul at a reception following the OWLS Fall CLE on November 2, 2007. Bodyfelt is located in Portland, and Farleigh Witt has offices in Portland and Sisters.
Both law firms have cultures that result from the conscious choice to favor professional fulfillment over maximizing profits. “Our founders had the philosophy that you can’t be a good trial lawyer if you’re not living a full life,” says Deanna Wray.
Both firms have moderate billable hour expectations, openness to flexible hours and part-time work, and transparent management practices that give women a meaningful voice. It is no accident that both firms have managed to retain a proportionately high number of women who are having and raising children, and that these same women have become leaders in their firms.
These two firms have demonstrated that moderate billable hour expectations, openness to flexible hours and part-time work, and transparent management practices not only work but also create an environment where all lawyers of either gender can thrive. Congratulations to both firms!