From her office in a curved-glass building in downtown Chicago, Tina Tchen has all the trappings of success: a view, positions in national bar associations and a partnership at one of the country’s most prestigious law firms—Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
To those who know her, Tchen’s success is no surprise. A graduate of a top law school, she’s worked hard to earn her reputation as a bet-the-company trial lawyer.
What is surprising, though, is that Tchen decided to stick it out at a law firm at all.
According to a new study by the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession, few women of color ever get the kinds of equal opportunities that Tchen received to put them on the road to partnership. As a result, most choose to leave their firms rather than stay and fight for equality.
The study, Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms, explores the experiences of these women. And what it shows is not pretty.