First Report Now Available!

Walking out the Door, the first report to be released from the Initiative on Long-Term Careers for Women is now available! Learn why experienced women lawyers leave Big Law and what legal institutions can do to keep them.

Groundbreaking Research

Long-Term Careers for Women in Law

Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law was an initiative of ABA President Hilarie Bass (2017 through 2018). The Commission has now taken up its mantle. The initiative features innovative research on legal careers using life cycle models from the fields of sociology, social psychology, and economics. The focus is on the many benefits of remaining in the profession and highlighting the career paths of senior women lawyers who continue to practice, exercise power, and inspire future generations of women lawyers.


Why now?

This research explored the unique issues and career dynamics facing women lawyers in practice for over 20 years, and the reasons for their disproportionately high rate of attrition. If steps aren't taken to change the current trend, the percentage of women equity partners will remain stuck at under 20% for decades to come. These senior women lawyers' professional development entailed substantial investments by their firms and companies over the years, and they have created strong relationships with the clients they serve.

What's next?

The research reports generated by this initiative will soon be published, and new complementary studies will be undertaken. Have questions, or want to be the first to know? Add your name to the waiting list!

Be the First - to know

Forthcoming Research Reports

Forthcoming Research Reports

Long-Term Careers for Women in Law

The Initiative has implemented four research projects which have been completed and will be published starting in Spring 2019: (1) a joint ABA/ALM Intelligence survey of large law firm managing partners and practicing attorneys; (2) a representative survey of law school alumni who graduated 20+ years ago, in order to generate a systematic understanding of the course of long-term careers for women and men in the legal profession & the professional, social and personal factors that enhance or impede legal careers; (3) a national focus group study to understand in greater depth the personal, social & professional factors that affect long-term careers for women lawyers; and (4) a national study focusing specifically on women lawyers of color using group and individual data.

Northern District of IL Summit

Learn what the research conducted by the initiative on Long-Term Careers for Women in Law teaches us about gender bias and the courts on March 3, 2020. Cosponsored by the Women's Bar Association of Illinois and the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois.