Law Firms with the Most Female Partner Promotions in 2016
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Summary: Which law firms promoted the most female partners in 2016?

It is common knowledge that there is a lack of women and diversity in law firms, but many major firms have been quick to point out the efforts they have been making to change that. However, how much is really improving? Recently, Stephanie Russell-Kraft published a study of the AmLaw 100 Partner Promotions in 2016; and she found that last year, only 36.7% of those firms’ partner promotions went to women.


“Unfortunately, after looking at 100 firm announcements, I found the messages sent to Big Law Business didn’t hold up with the national average,” Russell-Kraft said. “In 2016, 36.7 percent of all partner promotions in the AmLaw 100 went to women, according to my analysis. To put that into some context, that figure is slightly below the percentage of women promoted to partner in the 2016 Diversity and Flexibility Alliance survey, which looked at promotions between Oct. 1 2015 and Sept. 30, 2016. That survey, as McDermott pointed out, found 37.1 percent of attorneys promoted in the AmLaw 100 were women.”

Russell-Kraft looked at all of the partner promotions of AmLaw 100 firms between January 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016 to compile her report. However, Williams & Connolly and Haynes & Boone did not make announcements for partner promotions last year so their announcements from early January of 2017 were included instead. Kaye Scholer was excluded from the listing because they merged with Arnold & Porter late in 2016.

According to the report, 21 firms had female partner classes of 50% or more in 2016; and Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Schulte Roth and Pepper Hamilton notably had all female partner classes. While those three firms’ promotions was notable, Russell-Kraft described them as “outliers.”

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“But the women from those all-female classes make up only eight of the 1,557 total AmLaw 100 partners promoted in 2016, making those firms outliers,” Russell-Kraft said.

The eighteen other firms which had 50% or more female partner promotions last year include the following: Paul Hastings, Ogletree Deakins, Pillsbury, Williams & Connolly, Blank Rome, Wachtell, Faegre Baker, Lewis Brisbois, Nixon Peabody, K&L Gates, Haynes and Boone, Orrick, Dorsey, Locke Lord, Mintz Levin, O’Melveny, Perkins Coie and Steptoe.

“Empowering female lawyers is obviously something we’re making a priority as we move into 2017,” Matt Hyams of Pillsbury said in an email last year.

Source: Bloomberg Big Law Business 

What do you think law firms can do to increase their number of female partners? Let us know in the comments below.


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