Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Women and minorities are underrepresented among law firm associate ranks in wake of job market meltdown

From the National Jurist Magazine:

Lawyer layoffs throughout the 2008-2009 season have had a significant impact on the number of women and minorities in the field, according to the National Association for Law Placement's latest report. For the first time since 1993, when NALP first began compiling information, the number of women and minorities in partner and associate ranks has dropped.

Minorities now make up 12.4 percent of lawyers, while women account for 32.7 percent. While these numbers have dropped minimally percentage-wise, they indicate a significant shift in the work environment.

'While the actual drop in the representation of women and minorities is quite small, the significance of the drop is of enormous importance because it represents the reversal of what had been, up until now, a constant upward trend,' NALP Executive Director James Leipold said. 'Prior to the recession law firms had struggled to recruit and retain a diverse workforce of attorneys, but there were small gains year after year. The reversal of that trend underscores how important it is for law firms to redouble their diversity efforts.'

You can read the rest here.



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