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Women Take Majority Status at Ohio Firm

Posted Jan 30, 2008 1:13 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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After 40 years in business, a Toledo, Ohio, law firm is getting attention because a majority of its attorneys, including shareholders, are women.

"It's just something that happened naturally over time," Cary Cooper, one of the founders of Cooper & Walinski, told the Toledo Blade. "Dick [Walinski] and I always thought that the most important thing is hiring people smarter than us."

The gender balance shifted at the 39-lawyer firm in December when Patty Wise and Renisa Dorner folded their law firm into Cooper & Walinski.

Margaret Lockhart, the firm's president, is quoted saying women were attracted to the firm because it offered "balance" between work and home life as well as a chance to advance. "There's never been a glass ceiling here," Lockhart says. Women lawyers were attracted to Cooper & Walinski because "they looked to see where other women were successful."

The article cites an ABA Commission on Women in the Profession stat, that 30 percent of lawyers are women, but women represent fewer than 18 percent of law partners nationwide.

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