Women in the Law

At 14 Law Firms, Partner Promotions in 2008 Didn’t Include Women

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Fourteen out of 100 law firms surveyed didn’t include a single woman in their partner promotions last year, but for some the results were an aberration.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 23 of the law firms surveyed had partnership classes of at least 40 percent women, according to the survey by the Project for Attorney Retention. And many of the 23 already had a good record of promoting women, according to the group’s press release (PDF). The National Law Journal and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times ran stories on the findings.

The large firms that promoted the greatest percentage of women to partnership were Dickstein Shapiro and Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Both had partnership classes made up of about 67 percent women. And Farella Braun had a 100 percent score, since its only new partner is female.

At 10 other law firms, at least half of the lawyers promoted to partnership were women. They are Wiley Rein (60 percent), Andrews Kurth (57 percent), Bryan Cave (56 percent), Arent Fox (50 percent), Baker & Daniels (50 percent), Hogan & Hartson (50 percent), Holland and Hart (50 percent), King and Spalding (50 percent), Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps (50 percent), Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (50 percent), and Sullivan & Cromwell (50 percent).

The 14 firms that didn’t promote any female partners: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Cleary Gotlieb Steen & Hamilton; Dechert; Foley Hoag; Kaye Scholer; Lowenstein Sandler; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy; Schulte Roth & Zabel; Steptoe & Johnson; Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; Venable; Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; White & Case; and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

PAR notes that many of the firms on the “worst” list had better records in the past, most notably Cadwalader, Cleary Gottlieb, Kaye Scholer, Lowenstein and Steptoe.

Spelling of the name of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan corrected on Feb. 27.

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