Friday, March 31, 2006

 

New Partner Classes: Good News and Bad News

It is time once again to look at the new partner classes at law firms (U.S. offices only) and see how the women are doing. The good news is that an increasing number of firms have new partner classes that are 25 - 33% female. The bad news is that those percentages are still smaller than the percentage of women entering firms (close to 50% of new associates are female at most firms), and too many firms still have new partner classes with few or no women attorneys. Remember, this is not a pipeline issue: since 1985, law schools have been graduating classes that are 40% or more female, and women and men enter law firms as new associates in roughly equal numbers. If the women aren't staying at the firms long enough to make partner, the issue isn't the pipeline but rather the culture at the law firms.

So, who is doing more than talk when it comes to advancing women attorneys? Here is a list first of firms that are to be commended for their efforts:

Top honors go to Gibson Dunn (4 of 6 new partners are female, for 66%); Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (5 of 9 new partners are female, for 55%), Thelen, Reid & Priest (4 of 8 new partners are female, for 50%), Thompson & Knight (5 of 10 new partners are female, for 50%), and Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky (2 of 4 new partners are female, for 50%, and both of the new female partners have worked alternative schedules).

Reed Smith: 10 of 24 new partners are female

Cleary, Gottlieb: 2 of 5 new partners are female

Venable: 5 of 12 new partners are female

DLA Piper: 13 of 34 new partners are female

Weil, Gotschal: 4 of 10 new partners are female

Baker Botts: 4 of 10 new partners are female

Bryan Cave: 4 of 10 new partners are female

Cadwalader: 2 of 5 new partners are female

Baker Hostetler: 9 of 22 new partners are female

Arent Fox: 6 of 14 new partners are female

Also rans for the commendable efforts list:

McGuire Woods: 5 of 14 new partners are female

Howrey Simon: 5 of 13 new partners are female

And who is still just wringing their hands, bemoaning the fact that there just aren't any women in their firms ready to be promoted to partnership?

Womble Carlyle: 0 of 9 new partners are women

White & Case: 0 of 9 new partners are women

Holland and Hart: 0 of 4 new partners are women

Shearman & Sterling: 0 of 4 new partners are women

Chadbourne: 0 of 2 new partners are women

Dewey Ballantine: 0 of 4 new partners are women

Also having trouble finding qualified women:

Fulbright & Jaworsky: 1 of 9 new partners is female

Shook, Hardy, and Bacon: 1 of 12 new partners is female

Haynes & Boone: 1 of 10 new partners is female

Milbank: 1 of 7 new partners is female

Drinker Biddle: 1 of 7 new partners is female

Dechert: 2 of 12 new partners are female

As always, let me know any encouraging or discouraging partner class news we should include in this space.


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