Promoting flexibility and creative work-life solutions for able-bodied and disabled employees.

At Goodwin, inclusion is more than a concept. We bring inclusion to life by adapting our work place to meet people where they are. From need-blind flexible work arrangements, to alternative career paths, to creative accommodation solutions, we look beyond traditional diversity categories in our inclusion work. We celebrate the differences that each individual brings to our firm, we find the unique value in each employee and we provide creative work-life solutions for our people.


Our commitment to diversity and inclusion means that we support the differences in work and life styles that our employees bring with them to Goodwin. We created a formal flexible work program called “FlexWork” to support lawyers who have personal commitments outside of work that cause them to seek non-traditional or reduced-time schedules. Nearly 10% of Goodwin’s lawyers are on formal FlexWork arrangements, and many other lawyers and professional staff employees work flexibly on an informal basis.

Key elements of the program include:

  • Remote work opportunities, alternative hours arrangements and reduced hours arrangements
  • Eligibility from Day 1 post-hire
  • A true-up program to ensure equitable compensation for reduced hours attorneys who work in excess of 5% of their reduced hours target
  • Need-blind application processing (i.e., the program is not limited to parents or individuals returning from medical or other leave)
  • Collaboration between the attorney and the firm to create an optimal schedule for both parties
  • Off-ramping and on-ramping for attorneys going out on or returning from leave
  • No minimum or maximum length of time an attorney may work on a FlexWork schedule
  • A streamlined request and review process, one-on-one support from a coach trained by the Coaches Training Institute, regular check-ins, and online resources
  • Education for partners regarding the importance of the program

The firm is also a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance, a national forum dedicated to work-life integration for attorneys. As a member of the Alliance, Goodwin receives vital information about the recruitment, retention and development of FlexWork attorneys. In 2012, Elaine Blais, a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department, received the Alliance’s Annual Flex Success Award for best exemplifying how, with client support, attorneys can achieve greater work-life integration and still have extraordinarily successful careers.  

Alternative Career Paths

Beyond FlexWork, we use alternative career paths to enable our legal talent to make important choices about their work-life integration. Goodwin associates have meaningful opportunities to transition from our partner track to our professional track, and professional track attorneys have meaningful opportunities to advance to partnership within the firm. These alternative career paths help us to tailor the attorney experience at Goodwin based on personal interests, goals and commitments.

Creative Accommodation Solutions

We have also signed the ABA’s Pledge for Change: Disability Diversity in the Legal Profession, which affirms our commitment to employees with disabilities. And that commitment is not without action: We have a well-trained corps of attorney development and human resources managers who ensure that we deploy disability best practices throughout our organization. We also have trained coaches on staff who are available to counsel lawyers with disabilities on creative accommodation solutions that may help with successful work-life integration.

Get in Touch

View Bio

Laura Rees Acosta

Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion
Professional Staff
View Bio

Heidi Goldstein Shepherd

Chief Human Resources Officer
Professional Staff