Bradley is committed to promoting leadership among our female lawyers, from new associates to seasoned partners. Our Winn Initiative is a program that exemplifies our commitment to supporting our firm’s female attorneys. We created this firm-wide program almost two decades ago to serve as an internal women’s career development group to foster and encourage a supportive environment within the firm. Every Bradley office has a Winn liaison and hosts programs that focus on boosting professional skills, leadership, mentoring and business development.
Bradley is proud to have been named a “Tipping the Scales” firm by the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance for having 50% or more women in their 2023 U.S.-based new partner class. The firm also has been named one of the “Top 100 Law Firms for Women” by WomenInc., which recognizes law firms that demonstrate inclusive, equitable and sincere commitment to advancing opportunities for women, and has been named one of Working Mother and Flex-Time Lawyers “50 Best Law Firms for Women” in multiple years for raising the bar through family-friendly policies, talent cultivation, business development initiatives, and ultimately creating best practices that retain women by advancing them into the leadership pipeline.
The Winn Initiative is named in honor of late Bradley partner Ellene Winn, who in 1957 became the first female partner in a law firm of any size in the Southeast, as well as one of the first few in the nation.
After the Great Depression derailed her plans to pursue a Ph.D. in English literature, Winn graduated from the Birmingham School of Law. She joined the firm in 1942, a time when most men were fighting in World War II and many women were taking positions in previously male-dominated professions. Winn quickly became known as one of the most intelligent lawyers in the firm, developing a mastery of public finance, and she is believed to be the first woman lawyer to argue orally before the Supreme Court of Alabama. Named a partner in 1957, her trailblazing achievements helped open doors for other women in the legal field, both within our firm and elsewhere.
Winn was inducted into the 2019 Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame in June 2020.
Today, Bradley has numerous women in key leadership positions – including executive board members, office managing partners, practice group heads, and chairs of key committees – that reflect the firm’s commitment to gender diversity in our management, as well as in our associate classes and partner promotions.
Women at Bradley consistently display strong leadership outside of the firm as well – both in the legal field and in their communities. Their reputation is demonstrated by recognition in major legal rankings and awards, service in legal and industry associations, participation in leadership organizations, and volunteerism in charitable organizations, as well through quotes in news stories, published articles in leading business and trade publications, and key speaking positions at conferences and seminars.
At Bradley, we are proud of the role our firm has played in opening doors for female lawyers in this country and equally proud to continue supporting female leadership within the firm, the legal industry and our communities.