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By now it’s pretty commonly known that women account for about half of the enrollments at most law schools around the country. Hmm, that means roughly half of all new attorneys entering the legal profession are also women (assuming, of course, that women and men are passing bar exams at somewhat similar rates). What happens after that, of course, is what’s fueling the ongoing discussion about women and glass ceilings � and specifically whether the nation’s major law firms are truly committed to gender equality in their associate and partnership ranks. Case in point: The June issue of The American Lawyer magazine (which, like the magazine you’re reading right now, is published by ALM) contains 21 thumbnail-sized photos of lawyers that appear at the bottom of that issue’s “Big Deals” column. These are mostly big-firm lawyers who’ve recently been involved in major M&A transactions. Let’s see � among those 21 lawyers is one solitary woman, surrounded on all sides by 20 guys (all of whom, by the way, appear to be white, but that’s another issue). If nothing else, it’s yet another visual reminder that all those women toiling away in law school definitely have their work cut out for them once they grab their diplomas and join the profession. All that said, things turned out a little unexpectedly when it came to putting together this issue of IP Magazine. A few months back, Southern California freelance writer Kathy Braidhill took on the task of profiling Susan Hollander and Jill Pietrini, who jointly lead the intellectual property group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. The unique notion of an all-female leadership of a hugely important practice group at a leading law firm had all the elements of a good story � which is precisely what Braidhill delivered. But when it came time to assemble other articles for this issue, a wholly unintended theme emerged. For starters, Kellie Schmitt � a Los Angeles-based reporter at The Recorder � contributed a piece about entertainment lawyering (“The Out of Towners”) that prominently features Miriam Beezy, a co-chair of Foley & Lardner’s fledgling entertainment group. And in a companion article (“Hollywood North”), Xenia P. Kobylarz, who covers the IP beat for The Recorder, has taken a look at some Silicon Valley firms that are melding IP and entertainment issues into a unified practice area. Among those featured in her piece are Vickie Feeman, an Orrick partner, and Catherine Kirkman, an IP partner at Wilson Sonsini. What does it all mean? Is there a trend developing? Has the glass ceiling been shattered in the IP field? Or is it nothing more than mere coincidence? Journalistically speaking, it’s always easier to ask the questions than it is to hazard some answers. But at least it provides a welcome opportunity to offer something besides all those thumbnails of men in starched shirts.

Steven Pressman Editor [email protected]

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