Laura Leopard, a Woman Who Wow, was featured in a Reuters article by Jenna Greene highlighting Leopard Solutions’ data presented in a recent webinar hosted by Leopard on the long road women face when it comes to making partner at law firms. I was fortunate to be a moderator of this terrific webinar. I highly recommend you read this Reuters’ article, which recaps the webinar’s data. You can also watch a recap of the webinar here.
Laura noted that from the 1,360 women lawyers who quit the top 200 firms in the last 12 months, the majority of them went to in-house roles, saying, “A lot of the reason that compels them to go (in-house) is quality of life. They can work normal hours, they can go home and see their kids.
Men were considerably more likely to become a solo practitioner, with 69 men but only 19 women left Big Law last year to open their own firms.
Whether lateral or homegrown, man or woman, the article notes that the data showed that the time it takes to make partner has been increasing since 2012 — though non-diverse men generally have the shortest path.
For women, the stretched-out time frame — an average of 3,180 days, or more than eight years, for a non-diverse woman in 2020 — creates another problem.
If women are “postponing having a baby, they’re postponing getting married, and now it takes that much longer to make partner? I guess the question is, ‘Is it even worth it?’” Laura said. As the article noted, “for many women, the apparent answer continues to be no.”
It’s all pretty sobering and worth a read.