February 08, 2012 Practice Points

Survey Reveals Disparities in the Outlooks of Male Vs. Female New Partners

By Candace Duff

The American Lawyer recently revealed the results of its first-ever survey of new partners. The survey represents responses from 296 partners promoted at Am Law 200 firms between 2008 and 2011, the majority of whom are from firms with 500 or more attorneys. The survey provides insight into how views between new male partners and new female partners diverge on issues such as client development, partnership grooming, money, and the future.

For example, new female partners reported a darker outlook on the partnership experience than did their male counterparts. Of the new female partners, 25 percent rated their partnership experience as being “more difficult than I expected,” compared to 15 percent of the men.

A higher percentage of new female partners see the development of their own book of business as the ticket to security. According to the survey, more than 81 percent of new women partners reported stepping up their business-development efforts, compared to fewer than 75 percent of the new male partners. Despite their early focus on business development, however, only 9 percent of new women partners surveyed reported being “very satisfied” with their business-development responsibilities, compared to more than 30 percent of new male partners. Moreover, 11 percent of the new women partners reported that they were “not at all satisfied” with their business-development responsibilities compared to only 3 percent of the new men partners.

Keywords: woman advocate, litigation, partners, business development, women, men

Candace Duff works at Greenberg Traurig in Miami, Florida.

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