Back Door to the Top

June 1, 2009Publications / Mentions
American Lawyer

Big law firms in big cities usually grab all the attention for their women lawyer initiatives. But if you look past the splashy all-women retreats and the glossy brochures, big firms generally aren’t doing so well in elevating women to the partnership ranks. The surprise is that medium-size firms, including those located in the second cities of America, have done a better job. Of the nearly 180 firms of The Am Law 200 that submitted data on women and diversity this year to our Women in Law Firms study, almost 60 percent of the Am Law Second Hundred firms reported at least 19 percent women partners. That statistic is notable, because on average, women make up just 18 percent of all partners at Am Law 200 firms, according to our research. In contrast, only 41 percent of the Am Law First Hundred firms achieved that rate. 

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