Women lawyers are furious, and the legal profession at large doesn’t even know it. The reason for the fury: law firms dismissed a request made by the National Association for Law Placement for details about partnership structures — namely, a breakdown of equity versus nonequity partners in their ranks. This year, NALP tried, and failed, to get those breakdowns, hoping to include the information in its annual Directory of Legal Employers.

Women and minority lawyers say there should be greater transparency about the number of equity and nonequity partners at law firms. It’s the difference between having real power and the semblance of power, says Fernande Duffly, a judge on the Massachusetts Appeals Court and a former president of the National Association of Women Judges.

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