Firms have room to grow in having women in top roles

June 15, 2011
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The National Law Journal recently reported on a new certification by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum available for law firms that have integrated women in top leadership positions and highly compensated them. WILEF, formed by communications company RR Donnelley and Tursi Law Marketing Management, wants to educate women in the law on how to be leaders in the workplace and community. They created this new certification to bestow on law firms that meet three of the six following criteria:

-    At least 20 percent of equity partners are women
-    At least 10 percent of firm chairs and office managing partners are women
-    Women make up at least 20 percent of the firm’s primary governance committee
-    Women make up 20 percent or more of the firm’s compensation committee
-    At least 25 percent of practice group leaders or department heads are women
-    Women make up at least 10 percent of the top half of the most highly compensated partners

What’s news to me isn’t the creation of this certification. Groups constantly create certifications and awards to give firms. What’s news is that of the 300 firms with more than 100 attorneys that applied for this certification, only 32 met the criteria.

It’s a point that has been brought up before in this blog, but if women make up half the lawyering population, why aren’t there more women in leadership? Are the business models or structures of firms more beneficial toward men than women? It would seem that way based on the lack of female practice group leaders and managing partners. Most importantly, what can be done to increase the number of women in these leadership roles?

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  1. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

  2. Mazel Tov to the newlyweds. And to those bakers, photographers, printers, clerks, judges and others who will lose careers and social standing for not saluting the New World (Dis)Order, we can all direct our Two Minutes of Hate as Big Brother asks of us. Progress! Onward!

  3. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

  4. If justice is not found in a court room, it's time to clean house!!! Even judges are accountable to a higher Judge!!!

  5. The small claims system, based on my recent and current usage of it, is not exactly a shining example of justice prevailing. The system appears slow and clunky and people involved seem uninterested in actually serving justice within a reasonable time frame. Any improvement in accountability and performance would gain a vote from me. Speaking of voting, what do the people know about judges and justice from the bench perspective. I think they have a tendency to "vote" for judges based on party affiliation or name coolness factor (like Stoner, for example!). I don't know what to do in my current situation other than grin and bear it, but my case is an example of things working neither smoothly, effectively nor expeditiously. After this experience I'd pay more to have the higher courts hear the case -- if I had the money. Oh the conundrum.

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