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. Great observation Smith. By my lights, speaking personally, they already have. They counted my religious perspective in a pro-life context as a symptom of mental illness and then violated all semblance of due process to banish me for life from the Indiana bar. The headline reveals the truth of the Hoosier elite's animus. Details here: Denied 2016 petition for cert (this time around): (“2016Pet”) Amicus brief 2016: (“2016Amici”) As many may recall, I was banned for five years for failing to "repent" of my religious views on life and the law when a bar examiner demanded it of me, resulting in a time out to reconsider my "clinging." The time out did not work, so now I am banned for life. Here is the five year time out order: Denied 2010 petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): (“2010Pet”) Read this quickly if you are going to read it, the elites will likely demand it be pulled down or pile comments on to bury it. (As they have buried me.)

  2. if the proabortion zealots and intolerant secularist anti-religious bigots keep on shutting down every hint of religious observance in american society, or attacking every ounce of respect that the state may have left for it, they may just break off their teeth.

  3. "drug dealers and traffickers need to be locked up". "we cannot afford just to continue to build prisons". "drug abuse is strangling many families and communities". "establishing more treatment and prevention programs will also be priorities". Seems to be what politicians have been saying for at least three decades now. If these are the most original thoughts these two have on the issues of drug trafficking and drug abuse, then we're no closer to solving the problem than we were back in the 90s when crack cocaine was the epidemic. We really need to begin demanding more original thought from those we elect to office. We also need to begin to accept that each of us is part of the solution to a problem that government cannot solve.

  4. What is with the bias exclusion of the only candidate that made sense, Rex Bell? The Democrat and Republican Party have created this problem, why on earth would anyone believe they are able to fix it without pushing government into matters it doesn't belong?

  5. This is what happens when daddy hands over a business to his moron son and thinks that everything will be ok. this bankruptcy is nothing more than Gary pulling the strings to never pay the creditors that he and his son have ripped off. they are scum and they know it.