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Study Shows Gender Diversity Varies Widely Across Practice Areas

, The Am Law Daily

   | 4 Comments

A study by ALM Intelligence found that women are better represented in niche legal fields such as immigration and family law, but underrepresented in top-tier Big Law practice areas like corporate and litigation. Female talent is also underrepresented in states with large law school talent pools, according to the analysis.

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What's being said

  • J. Goodall

    Mr. Jordan, if you can‘t write a cogent sentence, it‘s reasonable to assume your firm is recruiting other grammatically challenged affirmative-action graduates. Thus your sensitivity. And Mr./Ms. Bird‘s call for still more government intervention -- because government intervention has been so successful to this point -- borders on parody. Lawyers always call for more laws to overcomplicate our world further and thereby make themselves richer.

  • Ron Jordan, Carter-White & Shaw, Diverse Attorney Recruiters

    J. Goodall, not a great name compared to your condescending attitude about a subject that important within the legal business. A misogynist would say be happy....... you name the stupid comment. The legal business has become that a business that doesn‘t incorporate its participants as human beings, women for the most part are working triple duty, wife, mother and breadwinner. Empathy is what is needed not some comment that we all should be happy working on the legal plantation and living in this nation, which has many, many problems within the legal community and the greater society at large.

  • C. Bird

    As a man who was a partner in a regional firm that merged into a national firm that merged into international Big Law, where I‘m still a partner, the summary of the study rings true to me. Even firms that are good at diversity (and I think mine is), can do little with client demands for constant connectivity and all-hours work. Working in a score of time zones makes it worse. Courts are part of the problem when they adopt schedules advocated by male opposing counsel designedly to make life miserable for a woman on the other side. The solution for that is to accept as a valid declaration of principle, not a confession of weakness, to say "your honor, I can‘t meet that deadline because of my child care duties." For the former, contrary to the vitriolic comment of the guy who adopted a famous woman scientist‘s name, Congress and state legislatures should study extending anti-discrimination employment law to personal services contracting, and not just in the legal profession. It should take a great mind to practice great law, not testosterone and willingness to let one‘s children go functionally fatherless to serve the greed that has made much of our profession miserable. In major part, the solutions need to be imposed from the outside because (i) greed has too much power in law firm leadership and (ii) even some clients that take strong stands for their outside lawyers‘ diversity do not apply those principles when women‘s social inequality inconveniences the C-suite.

  • J. Goodall

    C‘mon, please end ALM‘s obsessive, ongoing microanalysis of gender differences already, would ya? Since the onset of humankind and till the end of time, guys and gals will be different, bringing naturally differing strengths and interests to their work and personal lives. This is true regardless of radical feminist post-deconstructionists‘ efforts to convince Obammunist regulators otherwise. But even the Great Obama can‘t fight Mother Nature, ladies. So let it go and just try to be happy you don‘t live in a majority Muslim country where you‘d really have something to gripe about.

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