By all accounts, the chief characteristics of a law firm in which women can thrive are simple: Combine gender parity at the outset with substantive work-life balance policies, mix in management opportunities, and add a clear path to equity partnership. In a field premised on protecting the rights of others, law firm equality should be a de facto presumption. But in practice, not enough firms are putting in enough effort to get it right, and even fewer are doing it well.For most female lawyers at major U.S. firms, the likelihood of becoming a top-earning partner is close to nonexistent. There has been progress over the course of decades. But year over year, growth of female equity partners in the upper echelons of BigLaw has stalled since the early 2000s. The view at the top is slightly less homogeneous than it historically has been, but it remains starkly white and male nonetheless.“There’s truly been glacial progress,” says Roberta Liebenberg, a senior partner at … [Read more...] about Program helps law firms see progress in gender diversity—but is it enough?
Helps law firm
Law firms often lament the difficulty of retaining female attorneys, as the number of women partners continues to lag.But even those who mean well can fall victim to unconscious stereotyping, making it more difficult for women to rise through the law firm ranks, according to a book recently published by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.Its newly revised guidebook, Fair Measure, offers specific suggestions, including a step-by-step process and forms that can be used by supervising attorneys and associates themselves to help correct for such unconscious bias and objectively evaluate both women and men. Additional coverage:Blog of Legal Times: “ABA Releases Guide on Gender Bias in Firms”ABAJournal.com: “Want More Women Partners? Then Name Them, Blogger Tells Firms” … [Read more...] about New ABA Guide Helps Law Firms Objectively Evaluate Female Associates
As female attorneys in private practice continue to earn less than male counterparts, the American Bar Association has put together a program to help law firms address pay inequities.Available online, the ABA Toolkit for Gender Equity in Partner Compensation is also intended to help state and local bar associations organize conferences on the topic, according to Reuters.“I think almost every law firm compensation policy could use some tweaks,” said ABA President Laurel G. Bellows, explaining that the initiative is intended to encourage law firm leaders to talk about potential changes in both compensation and hiring models.A 2012 survey by Major Lindsey & Africa looked at partners at over 2,000 law firms. It found that average compensation for male partners was $734,000, while female partners earned $497,000, Reuters reports. That was an even bigger pay gap than in 2010, when the men made an average of $675,000, while the women earned $513,000.Meanwhile, corporations … [Read more...] about New ABA online toolkit helps law firms address gender-based pay inequities
According to Alvidas Jasin (PDF), director of business development for Thompson Hine, one of the surest ways to incite eco-friendly practices inside law firms comes from a different kind of green: money.More corporations are “going green” and are focusing on being environmentally conscious, Jasin says. “That means hiring law firms that are green, too.”“In-house counsels want to know about law firms’ commitments to eco-friendly practices and sustainability,” Jasin says. “Some have even made it part of their vendor criteria, including law firms.”Additionally, many firms have launched externally focused green practices, such as Thompson Hine’s Climate Change and Sustainable Business Solutions, to guide clients through complex issues such as energy regulation, carbon management and implementing clean technology.But, Jasin warns, a firm “can’t launch that kind of practice with any credibility if the firm itself … [Read more...] about Business Development Director Helps Law Firms Go Green to Make Green
Probably one of the most difficult tasks we face is convincing lawyers not to be so...how shall I put this?...”lawyerly” when it comes to marketing their law firms. The tendency toward formality is well ingrained in the legal profession, and it can take one whale of an effort to turn that ship around when it’s time to engage with prospects online. But turn it you must, because you sell legal services to humans, you market to humans and talking to them like a textbook simply does not work.Here’s what you can gain by being human online:An emotional connection. People buy emotionally and justify logically. You will simply bond better with your prospects online if you expose your real self and present the human side of your legal brand. By touching on emotions, you engender feelings of loyalty and empathy with your prospects – a path that leads to trust.Thought leadership. When you use social media, including … [Read more...] about How It Helps Law Firms to be Human Online