An in-depth survey of women in leadership roles at the Am Law 100, the
largest U.S. law firms, finds the glass ceiling largely intact.
ALM's The American Lawyer reports that nearly 80 percent of
respondents have a governing committee with two or fewer women members;
42 percent have only one woman member. Full results of the survey, which
also looks at females serving as managing partners and chairs, as
practice group and office leaders, and as compensation and other
governance committee members, appears in the January issue and online at http://americanlawyer.com.
Several firms had at least one governing committee with no women
partners: Bryan Cave, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, Chadbourne & Parke, Davis
Polk & Wardwell, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius, Proskauer Rose, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen &am; Katz.
At the other end of the spectrum, women partners at Fulbright &
Jaworski, Reed Smith, and Shook, Hardy & Bacon made up more than a
third, sometimes half, of a governing or compensation committee, with a
critical mass of three or more seats on each. Arnold & Porter, Cozen
O'Connor, Schulte Roth & Zabel and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan reported
33 percent female membership on their smallest governing committee.
Ninety-two firms responded to The American Lawyer's survey.
Many of the twenty-eight firm leaders and partners who were interviewed
proposed explanations for the sorry state of women in leadership.
However, as Senior Reporter Amy Kolz wrote, "Almost all raised a theory
of law firm relativity: We know that we should have more women in
leadership positions, but we're no worse than our peers."
Besides the survey tables and analyses, the issue includes an
exploration of why women partners have fared better at one-tier firms
and a look back at a group of high-powered women litigators whose
careers were launched by the Baxter Pharmaceuticals breast implant case.
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