Paul L. Caron

Saturday, October 24, 2020

2020 Law360 Glass Ceiling Report: 'Minimal Progress'

2020 Law360 Glass Ceiling Report:

Law 360The Law360 2020 Glass Ceiling Report shows that law firms continue to make only minimal progress in their efforts to dispel the barriers women face, especially as they move up the ranks.

Our rankings of firms, organized by head count, register incremental progress with respect to the percentage of female attorneys and of female equity partners. Roughly 40% of attorneys and about 25% of all partners are women, the data said.

This year, we expanded the survey to include measures such as partner promotions, executive committees and the types of policies that firms have in place specifically for women as part of promoting diversity and inclusion overall. The results provide a benchmark of how female attorneys were faring at U.S. law firms at the end of 2019.

Our detailed breakdown of where they place throughout their firms shows a picture that has barely changed from the previous year, with women representing around 25% of partners, 22% of equity partners and 28% of executive committees.

While firms have been promoting more women for some time now, they still struggle to retain them. We asked recruiting experts and partners for their take on why this is so and what firms can do to improve their retention rates.

Law360 also spoke with female attorneys who left BigLaw about how firms could better serve the women who work there.

And we look at how women are faring in the battle for coveted U.S. Supreme Court clerkships, which historically have gone predominantly to men.

In the first of three guest articles, attorneys provide some tips on what firms can do to help their female lawyers navigate pandemic-related challenges that could impact them disproportionately. In the second article, Culhane Meadows PLLC's founder and managing partner discusses the crucial role that mentorship, especially from senior male attorneys, can play in helping women succeed in firms. In the third piece, Susman Godfrey's co-managing partner talks about how firms can augment their trial teams' female ranks by integrating women into them early on, in significant roles.

And in an exclusive five-minute video, four Black female attorneys share their thoughts about wearing natural hair in the workplace.

Above the Law, The Glass Ceiling Report: Law Firms ‘Fundamentally Struggle’ To Support Women

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