While small and MegaLaw firms might seem like complete opposites, they both operate under the same rigid hierarchical structure that is keeping female attorneys from advancing and driving many out of the profession, experts say.
Female attorneys at firms with just one level of partnership are attaining equity partnership at a higher rate than their counterparts at two-tier law firms, according to Law360's Glass Ceiling Report.
Just 12 of the largest 100 U.S. law firms have a woman in their highest leadership position, and after a strong 2014 only one woman has joined the leadership ranks so far this year, according to Law360 data.
In the wake of an ex-Faruqi & Faruqi associate’s high-profile sexual assault and hostile workplace trial, female associates from at least two other law firms have filed suits alleging rampant sexism, and experts say the cases show that more women attorneys are ready to sue over sexual harassment.
Law360 surveyed 308 U.S. firms and vereins with a U.S. component about their overall and female head count numbers as of Dec. 31, 2014. The results show virtually no growth for female representation at any attorney level, with gender equality no closer than a year ago.
Intellectual property law firms are struggling to increase gender diversity, a failure practitioners and law firm leaders say is a result of too few female lawyers with backgrounds in the fields that IP attorneys need, such as engineering and computer science.
Labor and employment boutiques have been gaining an edge with clients over full-service rivals, in part, by playing up higher-than-average numbers of female attorneys in their ranks, a tactic which has allowed them to grow their market share.
For the first time ever, Law360 has ranked the 100 best U.S. law firms for women, based on the firm's female representation at the partner and nonpartner levels and its total number of female attorneys.
U.S. law firms are not hiring or promoting more female attorneys than they were a year ago, a failure that everyone from in-house attorneys to BigLaw bosses says can only change when the industry confronts its deep-rooted unconscious bias about women in law.
While women continue to be vastly underrepresented at the partner level in the U.S. legal industry, 25 firms have made significant strides toward gender equality at their highest ranks, earning the designation of Law360 Ceiling Smasher.
Women continue to be dramatically underrepresented at every attorney level in the U.S. legal industry, and firms made negligible progress toward gender equality in 2014, according to a Law360 head count survey of more than 300 U.S. firms.
Employment law firms are doing far better than their BigLaw brethren at promoting and retaining female talent, reflecting a professional knack for supportive workplace policies, a client-driven focus on equality and a cultural history of inclusion that dates back decades.
U.S. law firms continue to make it hard for women to advance, but experts say the legal industry could look to an unlikely source for inspiration — corporate America.
Female attorneys continue to find it daunting to rise and become rain makers at law firms, but specialized leadership training and business development programs can help open doors. Here, Law360 looks at four ways firms can ramp up their women's initiatives.
Women are in the top leadership spots of only seven of the 100 largest U.S. firms — a product of law firms failing to provide adequate mentorship and advancement opportunities, experts say.
The culture of many large U.S. law firms does not support equal access to business-building opportunities, blocking women from the position they most want to reach — equity partnership.
When longtime McGuireWoods LLP partner Amy Manning had her first child 14 years ago, flexible work arrangements and telecommuting were hardly ever used in the legal industry. So Manning approached a meeting about the issue with her mentor at the firm, top antitrust and trade regulation partner Richard Rappaport, with more than a little trepidation.
Bucking a nationwide trend among law firms of subpar female representation at the partner level, Law360's inaugural class of Ceiling Smashers have shown a commitment to gender equality.