Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Thursday, November 2, 2017

New Study Shows Gender Gap Much Wider in Law Firms than Other Industries

Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA J, Survey Chronicles Female Lawyers Exodus from Equity Partnership, Belief They Can't Have it All

Law firms are taking steps to improve gender equality, but it’s not translating to a better gender balance past the associate level, according to a new study. 

The gender gap at high levels is much wider in law firms than in other industries, according to the study by McKinsey & Co. and Thomson Reuters. The study drew on survey responses by more than 2,500 lawyers and information from 23 of the nation’s top law firms, according to a press release.


Female lawyers are 29 percent less likely to be promoted to the first partnership level than men, and only 19 percent of equity partners are women, according to the “Women in Law Firms” study, available here. Female lawyers are 43 percent more likely to leave equity partnership than men, according to the one-year data sample.


Almost half of female lawyers say prioritizing work-life balance is one of the greatest challenges to their professional success. Only 44 percent of female lawyers think they can have a successful career and a full personal life, compared with 60 percent of men.

Women lawyers | Permalink


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