Plugging the “Leaky Pipeline” of Women Attorney Attrition

Vol. 15 No. 9

Roberta D. Liebenberg is the chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and a partner of Fine, Kaplan and Black, R.P.C., in Philadelphia.

For far too long, there has been a disproportionately high rate of attrition of women lawyers from the legal profession, which has been aptly described as the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon. Even though women have been entering the profession at roughly the same rate as men, by the time partnership decisions are made, the number of women available to be considered has decreased substantially. Despite significant efforts by law firms to retain their women lawyers, women all along the continuum, from associates to partners, are voting with their feet by leaving. Consequently, there are very few women moving into positions of real power and influence in law firms.

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