My wife and I met when she was a freshman at Rutgers University in New Jersey. As a student on the Douglas College campus (“place for women who are interested in a collegiate experience that includes a focus on women’s success and leadership”) she took many courses in feminist thought and women’s issues. I was going to law school at the time and working during the day for LexisNexis as an editor. With those credentials, as well as the being the boyfriend, I became her de facto editor on research papers. Doing this work opened my eyes to the disadvantages women still face in the workplace and the world at large, things that as a man I never even thought about before. Awareness for me was the first step in changing attitudes and assumptions towards women that I never even knew I had. In the practice of law, we have a similar need to raise such an awareness so that as a profession we can move beyond currently accepted norms.
This month we are running the theme, Women in the Law. According to findings by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), graduation rates of women from law school have held steady at about 40% since 1985. Despite the large number of women lawyers entering the practice of law, “in the largest firms in the U.S., men hold 92 percent of managing partner positions, 85 percent of the seats on firm governing committees, and 84 percent of equity partnerships,” (from the 2008 Report). What accounts for the disparity? How can women gain greater parity with their male colleagues in the practice of law? That’s what this month is all about. We are going to focus on issues relevant to women lawyers, such as the pay equity, glass ceiling, and balancing work and family. Together with our Alliance Partner, NAWL, we will present their 2009 survey findings in a round-table webinar at the end of the month.
We want to hear from you on this important issue. Post comments below about what you think the community should focus on this month. Also, join Connected to get in on the conversation and connect with other like minded professionals.
For Connected members, you can follow these links to various places where the conversations are happening: