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Monday, March 20, 2006

Why Do So Few Women Reach the Top of Big Law Firms?

New York Times writer Timothy L. O'Brian's article in
the International Herald Tribune (03/19/2006) addresses the
hurdles that women at the top of the legal profession
still face. Citing the National Association for Law Placement (NALP),
to O'Brian reports that "only about 17 percent of the partners at
major law firms nationwide were women in 2005, a figure that has
risen only slightly since 1995, when about 13 percent of partners were
women." O'Brian spoke with a number of women about the reasons
for continuing disparity. Lack of mentoring, the "maternal wall" that
assumes that women who return to firms after having children will
"automatically be less willing to work hard," differences in the
way women self-promote, and entrenched biases are cited as possible
reasons why women are still underrepresented at the top.