January 08, 2014 Practice Points

NALP Report Shows Decline of Female Associates

By Sara E. Dionne

The National Association of Law Professionals (NALP) recently released its annual report on diversity. The report examines race and gender information for more than 110,000 lawyers nationwide. Some key findings of the report include:

Associates: The number of female associates has fallen to 44.79 percent of associates, a reduction from the peak of 45.66 percent in 2009. Minority associate numbers increased to a total of 20.93 percent, although minority women associate numbers show little improvement since 2009.

Partners: The number of minority and female partners inched up slightly in 2013. Minority partners accounted for 7.10 percent of big firm partners in 2013 (up from 6.71 percent in 2012). Women partners accounted for 20.22 percent of big firm partners in 2013 (up from 19.91 percent in 2012). NALP found minority women partners to be the most underrepresented group at the partnership level, accounting for only 2.26 percent of partners.

Overall: The overall numbers of all female attorneys stayed nearly stagnant, increasing only one-tenth of one percent. This number is lower than the number of women attorneys in 2009. Overall numbers of minority lawyers increased by .45 percent, now making up 13.36 percent of law firm attorneys.

NALP’s Executive Director, James Leipold, expressed concern over the trends in female attorney numbers, noting that more women seem to be “opting out of the BigLaw scene right from the start.”

Read more discussion of the NALP report.

Keywords: woman advocate, litigation, NALP, diversity


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