Preparing and Supporting Women Lawyers
Women make up more than 50% of graduating law school classes and 40-50% of entering law firm associates. Yet, across "Big Law" firms,
women account for just 20% of law firm equity partners; they make up only 29% of new equity partners; and they constitute less than 25% of management committee members, practice group leaders, and office heads. Women of color account for account for 16% of attorneys at entry level, but only 3% of equity partners, and 4% of managing partners. Similar, and often more dismal, patterns exist among small and mid-size firms where there is far less focus on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) policies .
Attrition among female attorneys is the number one obstacle to improving gender diversity in the senior/leadership ranks of the profession. Why is gender diversity desireable? First and foremost, because clients are demanding it. Gender diversity, and overall diversity, enable firms and legal departments to better understand and serve the .
To date, law firm retention efforts have largely focused on "work-life balance" initiatives aimed almost entirely at working mothers, with flexible schedule policies in place among 98% of large firms. While having more time outside the office is certainly a driving factor, continuing attrition rates signal that women are leaving law firm life for reasons more complex than simply "work-life balance." The programs and policies law firms institute to retain female talent need to match that complexity.
The Stet Collective works with law firms and law schools to
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