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):

Eight
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)

Seven
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)

Three
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.

Two
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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