Is the Future Bleak for Female Law Partners?

Posted on April 2, 2020 in Business Partners

I came across a sad, but perhaps not surprising, post about how female lawyers are “dropping off the path to partnership.”  In my own experience (before starting my own partnership), I saw very few (if any) women either become partners by dint of their hard work, or stay around long enough to be considered at that level.

The Boston Globe article, which quotes an MIT Workplace Center report, notes that

The dropout rate among women lawyers is overwhelmingly the result of the combination of demanding hours, inflexible schedules, lack of viable part-time options, emphasis on billable hours, and failure by law firms to recognize that female lawyers’ career trajectories may alternate between work and family.

This is not a new issue.  As reported, women made up only 17% of law firm partners.  This would seem to indicate one of two things:  either that there will continue to be a lack of women in leadership positions in the law, or that the survey, by focusing on only the largest law firms, is missing a substantial cadre of women leaders who happen to practice law (or in law-related fields) outside of the big firm milieu.

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