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Women in the Law

About a Third of Newly Promoted BigLaw Partners Are Women

Posted Jan 18, 2012 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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About a third of the lawyers who obtained BigLaw partnership promotions so far this year are women, though several firms fell well below the average.

The American Lawyer tallied the percentages. So far, 97 of the nation’s top 200 law firms have announced 973 partner promotions for 2012. Twenty of the firms promoted partnership classes made up of at least 50 percent women, while 13 promoted no women.

The legal publication's analysis showed that the average path to partnership was 10½ years. While most lawyers took the traditional path, rising through the associate ranks, "anecdotal evidence suggests that ... many others took a longer way around, whether by making a detour in-house, strengthening their courtroom chops with a stint as a prosecutor, or jumping from one firm to another," the story says.

An interactive chart has the percentages. Firms with partnership classes made up of more than 50 percent women include:

• Stinson Morrison Hecker (four out of five are women).

• Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (two out of three are women).

• Kenyon & Kenyon (two out of three are women).

• King & Spalding (five out of eight are women).

• Perkins Coie (seven out of 12 are women).

• Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (four out of seven are women).

• Barnes & Thornburg (five out of nine are women).

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