Practice of Law

Working to Retain Women Lawyers

The issue of how to retain women lawyers has been mulled over and studied many times over the last couple of decades. In 2004, the ABA noted that “the number of women making partner at large law firms has lagged behind their male counterparts.”  Women continue to bail out before partnership much more often than men, and, in a survey of 84 Georgia law firms (.pdf), many of them cite “the desire for a different schedule or professional dissatisfaction as their reason.”

This issue is being attacked head on by a joint task force of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which is asking law firms to implement initiatives in several areas to attract, retain, and advance women lawyers. Among these areas are mentoring, training in business development/rainmaking, and creating flexible work schedules, including part-time schedules.

What has been your experience with the retention of women lawyers? Do you have suggestions to make these initiatives more likely to succeed?

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