We’re already all too familiar with the dearth of female representation in many industries, so we’re not too surprised about Law360’s 2018 Glass Ceiling Report (subscription required), which finds that women remain underrepresented among U.S. law firms, comprising just 36% of all attorneys.
Forget about blaming the pipeline. Women have historically made up more than 40% of law school students for more than 30 years, and women of color comprised nearly one-fifth of the first-year law school students in 2017. Yet at the partner levels, less than a quarter (23% either nonequity or equity) are women, and a little more than 12% of law firm leaders are women. Only 8% of private practice attorneys and 3% of law firm partners are women of color.
Those that do have female leadership have higher levels of representation for female attorneys throughout their workforce, as much as 3 percentage points higher than the average of all firms surveyed, and representation of female equity partners is 5 percentage points higher.