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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Women in Law Firms

Another discouraging account in today's NYT, with something interesting graphic demonstrations:

Unequal Partners

Posted by Orly Lobel on March 19, 2006 at 11:26 PM | Permalink


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some combination between (overt and covert; direct and structural) biases within firms; the institutional difficulties of balancing work/family in a framework that largely keeps the two separate and views family demands as private; and the (real and constructed) preferences of women is certainly in play. The exact formula is yet to be discovered, but to me, as someone who sends out law students into the world, with an implied hope and promise that they will have opportunities to reach the top, the numbers in and of themselves are problematic. The numbers of course go beyond the numerical count of partners. For young lawyers, they mean that those making decisions about hiring, about law firm practices, about promotions and networking opportunities will continue to be mostly, and often, only men.

Posted by: Orly Lobel | Mar 22, 2006 1:21:28 AM

How's this for an inference: the old boy's network is alive and well?

Isn't the burden on those who think there is not a problem with these shocking numbers to explain just why they are ok?

Posted by: Anon. | Mar 22, 2006 12:41:23 AM

Kate: This is certainly a step up from how this story is being reported elsewhere. Most stories I've seen have simply compared the percentage of law firm partners that are female to the percentage of current law school graduates that are female. That's a really worthless stastistic.

Posted by: FXKLM | Mar 20, 2006 8:15:22 PM

Kate, you would undoubtedly make a fine partner at a law firm.

Posted by: lawprof | Mar 20, 2006 3:22:39 PM

Orly: please suggest an inference that can be appropriately made from this graph (other than "oops, the NYT did it again").

Posted by: Kate Litvak | Mar 20, 2006 12:40:28 PM

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