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. File under the Sociology of Hoosier Discipline ... “We will be answering the complaint in due course and defending against the commission’s allegations,” said Indianapolis attorney Don Lundberg, who’s representing Hudson in her disciplinary case. FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ... Lundberg ran the statist attorney disciplinary machinery in Indy for decades, and is now the "go to guy" for those who can afford him .... the ultimate insider for the well-to-do and/or connected who find themselves in the crosshairs. It would appear that this former prosecutor knows how the game is played in Circle City ... and is sacrificing accordingly. See more on that here ... http://www.theindianalawyer.com/supreme-court-reprimands-attorney-for-falsifying-hours-worked/PARAMS/article/43757 Legal sociologists could have a field day here ... I wonder why such things are never studied? Is a sacrifice to the well connected former regulators a de facto bribe? Such questions, if probed, could bring about a more just world, a more equal playing field, less Stalinist governance. All of the things that our preambles tell us to value could be advanced if only sunshine reached into such dark worlds. As a great jurist once wrote: "Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman." Other People's Money—and How Bankers Use It (1914). Ah, but I am certifiable, according to the Indiana authorities, according to the ISC it can be read, for believing such trite things and for advancing such unwanted thoughts. As a great albeit fictional and broken resistance leaders once wrote: "I am the dead." Winston Smith Let us all be dead to the idea of maintaining a patently unjust legal order.

  2. The Department of Education still has over $100 million of ITT Education Services money in the form of $100+ million Letters of Credit. That money was supposed to be used by The DOE to help students. The DOE did nothing to help students. The DOE essentially stole the money from ITT Tech and still has the money. The trustee should be going after the DOE to get the money back for people who are owed that money, including shareholders.

  3. Do you know who the sponsor of the last-minute amendment was?

  4. Law firms of over 50 don't deliver good value, thats what this survey really tells you. Anybody that has seen what they bill for compared to what they deliver knows that already, however.

  5. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

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