August 25, 2017 Asked and Answered

Is diversity all talk?

By Molly McDonough

Diversity at law firms, especially at the higher levels of partnership, continues to be a hot topic of discussion. But is that all that it is, a discussion item?

To this day, fewer than 20 percent of equity partners are women and even fewer are lawyers of color. This has been the case for more than a decade even though there are now more women in law school than men.

Molly McDonough, editor and publisher of the ABA Journal, spoke about this issue during the ABA Annual Meeting with Subha Barry of Working Mother Media, Vivia Chen of the Careerist blog, Lynn Charytan and Jeff Smith of Comcast Cable, and Heidi Levine of Sidley Austin in this special bonus episode of Asked and Answered.

Listen to the Podcast

In This Podcast:

Molly McDonough
Subha V. Barry has been vice president and general manager of Working Mother Media since January 2015. She previously was senior vice president and chief diversity officer at Freddie Mac, where she served on the firm’s management committee.

Lynn Charytan serves as executive vice president and general counsel of Comcast Cable. She is also senior vice president and senior deputy general counsel for Comcast Corp. Prior to joining Comcast in 2010, Lynn spent more than 17 years at WilmerHale in Washington, D.C., where she served as the chair of its Communications, Privacy and Internet Law Practice Group.

Vivia Chen is the creator and chief writer of The Careerist, a blog that focuses on women and diversity in the profession. Chen—who was a corporate lawyer before she became a senior columnist at American Lawyer—has been honored for her writing by the American Bar Association and Business Insider.

Heidi Levine is a partner at Sidley Austin in New York City. Levine focuses her practice on product liability and mass torts, with an emphasis on pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.

Jeffrey Smith is a senior vice president and senior deputy general counsel for Comcast Cable. Smith has held a number of positions in his career with Comcast, including senior vice president and general counsel of Broadnet Europe Sprl. Before joining Comcast, he was an associate with Drinker Biddle & Reath. (Photo by Len Irish.)