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. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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