Friday, July 17, 2009


Survey of Women Law Firm Partners

To All Women Law Firm Partners:

The three undersigned organizations are working together to examine the experiences of women law firm partners regarding business development, related compensation and partner evaluation practices with the goal of developing recommendations and best practices.

If you are a woman who is a partner in a law firm, please contact PAR for a link to the survey and ask all the women law firm partners in your network and to do the same. Your individual responses will remain confidential and anonymous and will be reported only in the aggregate.

We need to have your input and to hear about your views and experiences. So please help us out – it should take you only about 20-30 minutes to answer the questions.

Thank you,

Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA)
Project for Attorney Retention (PAR)
ABA Commission on Women in the Profession

Friday, July 10, 2009


Women Managing Partners

As is being widely reported, Carroll, Burdick & McDonough LLP has named Vicki Frieman its second woman managing partner. This is remarkable, all the more so because Ms. Frieman was apparently groomed for the position by the firm's first female managing partner, Angela Bradstreet. Succession planning of this sort -- a clear best practice -- has been a topic at PAR's annual conference and at presentations by PAR about retaining and advancing women lawyers.

So that got us to thinking: are there other firms out there that have had two female managing partners? We searched our hard drives and collective memories (and the Internet) and came up with the following examples:

Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell (Jerry Clements and Harriet Miers)
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler (Rochelle Korman and Antonia Grumbach)
Munger Tolles & Olson (Sandra Seville-Jones, current co-managing partner, is the second of two)
(Disclosure: Munger Tolles is a sustaining member of PAR)

Expanding our inquiry beyond firm-wide managing partner positions, we found the following examples of firms that have had more than one female managing partner of an office (current and former):

Reed Smith (Judy Harris, DC; Janet Kwuon, Los Angeles; Bette Epstein and Sonja Weissman, Oakland; Claudia Springer, Philadelphia; Carolyn Duronio, Pittsburgh; Nanette Mantell, Princeton; Karen Fegelson, Virginia)

Littler Mendelson (Linda Headley, Houston; Jennifer Walt, San Francisco; Erin Webber, Denver; Katherine Flanagan, Houston; Sue Marie Douglas, Cleveland; Lori A. Brown, Miami; Wendy Krincek, Las Vegas/Reno)

Foley & Lardner (Nancy Geenen in San Francisco, Nicole Lamb-Hale in Detroit, and Nancy Sennett in Milwaukee)
Pillsbury Winthrop ( Sue Hodges, San Diego offices; Maureen Dwyer, DC; Meg Utterback, Shanghai) -- Pillsbury also had a female chair, Mary Cranston, and a female firm-wide managing partner, Marina Park, until 2007.

Hogan & Hartson (Ann Morgan Vickery in D.C. and Emily Yinger in Northern Virginia)
Ballard Spahr (Lynn Axelroth and Lynn Rzonca, both in the Philadelphia office)
Epstein Becker & Green (Maxine Hicks in the Atlanta office and Susan Pravda in the Boston office)
Seyfarth Shaw (Lisa Damon in Boston and Loria Almon, co-managing partner, in New York)

Honorable mention:
Stoel Rives has had one firm-wide female managing partner (Beth Ugoretz, 2005 - 2008) and one female office managing partner (Virginia Pedreira, Seattle).

(Disclosure: Foley & Lardner and Hogan & Hartson are PAR members)

It is a good start.

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