This week the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) released its Survey on the Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, which compiles data on the professional progress of women in the nation’s 200 largest firms. Most of the reporting on NAWL’s survey results has focused on the decrease in the number of female first and second year associates. While the decline is only slight—47 percent of first and second year associates are women, compared to 48 percent a year ago—it is the first decrease since NAWL began reporting survey results in 2006. NAWL speculates that the decline is attributable to changes in law school enrollments, where there have also been slight decreases in the percentage of female students.
The most interesting part of the report, however, discusses where women find themselves in the hierarchal complexities of today’s law firms. As the NAWL survey points out, large law firms are no longer comprised of simply partners, associates, and a few of counsel. Instead, firms are a mix of equity and non-equity partners, associates, staff attorneys, and of counsel. Read on after the jump for sobering highlights about how women tend to fit into organizationally-complex large law firms. Read More