Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The number of women working in the nation’s largest law firms went basically unchanged in 2012.

Women equaled about one-third of the attorneys working at NLJ 350 firms and accounted for about 16 percent of equity partners.

The results, from The National Law Journal‘s annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms, showed only slight differences from the 2011 numbers. In 2012, women made up 33.4 percent of the attorneys at those firms, compared with 33 percent in 2011. Among equity partners, women totaled 15.9 percent in 2012 compared with 15.3 percent the year before.

The results were based on gender breakdowns provided by 82 percent of the NLJ 350 firms during the 2012 survey and by 86 percent of the firms for the NLJ 250 in 2011.

Among associates, women comprised 45.3 percent in 2012 — a small increase over 2011, when 44.7 of associates were women.

The biggest change — though, again, not sizeable — was among nonequity partners. Last year, 25.8 percent of the nonequity partners were women; in 2011, women made up 24.7 percent of that category.

Women equity and nonequity partners grouped together equaled 19 percent of partners in 2012 and 18.8 percent in 2011.

The partner numbers stood in marked contrast to the percentage of women in law schools. Last year, 46.7 percent of students at law schools accredited by the ABA were women, according to the ABA.

The findings from the NLJ 350, which include law firms ranging from 117 to 4,034 lawyers, are in line with independent indicators. For example, an ABA study based on data provided by 44 states found that women in 2012 represented 33.3 percent of all attorneys in private practice and 15 percent of equity partners. Forty-five percent of associates were women.

"I have hope that things will change," said Deborah Froling, president-elect of the National Association of Women and a partner at Arent Fox. Law firms have made progress in implementing programs to attract and retain women attorneys, she said, but they also became complacent during the economic downturn. "We’ve been through a rough patch."

Clients, she said, have the power to force law firms to hire more women. "Law firms are reactive and not proactive, and so when clients require change, law firms change."

Contact Leigh Jones at ljones@alm.com. Read the complete 2013 NLJ 350 report.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2017 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.