Women make slight gains at partnership level in US firms

December 31, 2013 The National Association for Law Placement has released new figures showing that there is an increasing percentage of women in partnerships at large US law firms, but that representation of women is falling at the associate level.

Women make up 20.2 percent of partners at major law firms, up from 19.9 percent in 2012, but meanwhile the percentage of women associates dipped from 45.1 to 44.8 percent. This will be the fourth consecutive year that the proportion of female associates has dropped since 2009, when it reached a high of 45.7 percent.

“While the percentage of women partners, small as it is, has continued to grow each year, sustained incremental growth in the future is at risk if the percentage of women associates continues to inch downwards,” NALP’s executive director James Leipold said in a statement. “This should be a red flag for everyone in legal education and the law firm world.”

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