Outperformers in this year’s National Law Journal Women in Law Scorecard say a big part of improving gender diversity is helping female attorneys rise to the upper echelons of their law firms. But that means making a commitment to equipping female attorneys with what they need to climb the ranks.

Several newcomers to the scorecard this year shot right to the top, but getting to the demographics that allowed their high ranking was a process long in the making. Leaders of those firms pointed to initiatives and changes they implemented years ago.