Here's an interesting statistic: Since 1985, law schools have been graduating classes of new lawyers that are 40% or more female. According to Catalyst, in 1996, only 14.2% of law firm partners (equity and nonequity) were women, and in 2005, only 17.2% were women. At this rate of increase, women should make up half of law firm partners by the year 2115. Seems to me that projection continues to be reasonable only if one assumes that the lawyer layoffs in the past year have been proportionate among men and women.
In many ways, the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR) attempts to help improve that statistic, and hasten true parity in the legal professions by keeping women in the legal work force at times when they are likely to drop out. One effort in that area: their recently announced call for nominations for the 2009 PAR Flex Success Award.
The PAR Flex Success award will be shared by:
• A partner in a PAR member law firm who is working or has worked a reduced hour arrangement that is considered successful by the firm, the attorney and clients; and
• A client, to be chosen by the attorney and/or firm, who contributes to the success of the arrangement.
The 2009 award will be presented at the PAR Diversity & Flexibility Connection Conference on October 29, 2009, at Dickstein Shapiro LLP in Washington D.C.
The nomination deadline is September 18, 2009.