ABA Journal


Women in the Law

Women’s Initiatives in BigLaw Are Abundant and ‘Woefully Underfunded,’ Report Says

Nov 19, 2012, 11:30 am CST


Lip service, like all BigLaw affirmative action when it hits the partner level.

By B. McLeod on 2012 11 19, 1:22 pm CST

Three comments, all personal: (1) I prefer to work with female partners; (2) I prefer my own initiative, which happens to be male; and (3) I want it overfunded.
As the song said: "you can't always get what you want ...."
If one is a darn good attorney and tries at times, on one's own initiative, one just might find, you get what you need, regardless of your gender.

By Realist on 2012 11 21, 1:55 pm CST

Why should women expect extra cash to be spent on them by their employers to learn the same things that everybody else learns on their own? If women truly want to be on a level playing field as they claim ad nauseum, then act that way. Women can't have it both ways: demanding special treatment while wanting to be taken seriously as equal contenders on that playing field.

Women are justifiably not seen as reliable workers as men in the eyes of their employers, and advocates for women are not doing very well in assuring employers that women consider their careers as being just as important as their families. Women always have relied on the age-old, reasonable excuse of family responsibilities to trump their employment responsibilities, and everyone knows it. This is a credibility gap that women have as a challenge, and no amount of employer subsidies or handholding can make women look better to everyone else.

If women want to be taken seriously in their careers, then they must stop asking for special favors from their employers. If women want to demand a work-life balance, they need to see that demand through the eyes of the people for whom they work and how that affects the work/rewards they get. If women want to do better, they need to pay attention to those people who decide for themselves if women have earned that better place, or if women are just making more demands that serve women at the expense of everyone else.

By sunforester on 2012 11 21, 6:14 pm CST

The fact that woman make up only 15% of equity partners is, in and of itself, a useless statistic and shows nothing. While I don't doubt that there is gender inequality in the legal profession, the fact that the author thinks that that statistic will be meaningful to the reader evinces either a lack of understanding of statistical significance on his part, or an assumption that the reader is not reading critically. Either way, it's lazy.

I feel even more insulted, however, by these law firms that put on these programs yet still exhibit no measurable decrease in gender bias. But not the kind of insulted where you are angry. The kind of insulted where you are sitting at your desk chuckling at how silly it all is. Of course, I have that luxury. I am a man.

By Insulted on 2012 11 26, 10:13 pm CST

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.