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American Bar Association headquarters in Chicago

If you ask women partners, law firm life is not all it’s cracked up to be. If you ask managing partners, things are going just fine for women in Big Law.

That’s one large takeaway from a study commissioned by the American Bar Association that was aimed at making recommendations on how to stem a “gigantic talent drain” as women leave the legal profession much more quickly and in larger numbers than men. A study of lawyers at Am Law 200 firms by ALM Legal Intelligence shows that while 44 percent of 2015 graduates are women, a mere quarter of graduates from 1991 are women.

The results of the study, which included more than 1,300 participants from the nation’s 350 largest law firms, were partially released Friday at an event at the ABA annual meeting in Chicago. The survey’s most stark divisions between men and women had to do with how the two groups experienced harassment and gender bias. But they also generally showed a vast disconnect between female and male partners, and specifically women and managing partners, about their experiences in Big Law.

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