More Women Partners at Pa. Firms, but Overall Ranks Stagnant

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Even as the percentage of women partners has increased over the last decade, female lawyers continue to make up less than one-third of the attorney population at Pennsylvania's 100 largest law firms, according to data tracked by Legal sibling publication PaLaw magazine.

The stagnant overall numbers and modest gains in partner ranks serve to show more work needs to be done, one bar association leader said.

The number of women attorneys showed almost no movement in either direction between 2012 and 2013, according to the figures reported by the magazine. In 2012, women accounted for 28.5 percent of the attorneys working in the Pennsylvania offices of the state's 95 largest law firms for which data was available. In looking at the 92 firms for which data was available in 2013, that figure was 28.3 percent. The numbers do not include attorneys working in out-of-state offices of those firms. The percentages are still higher than in 2011, when 27.8 percent of Pennsylvania lawyers were women.

While law firms have focused for years now on increasing the number and tenure of women in their firms, the figures tracked by PaLaw show not much has changed in the last decade. In 2003, women accounted for 29 percent of the lawyers practicing in the Pennsylvania offices of the state's largest law firms. There has been improvement, however, when it comes to partnership ranks.

In looking at the percentage of lawyers in Pennsylvania offices who are female partners, the figure comes out to 10 percent for 2013. PaLaw does not differentiate between equity and nonequity partners for purposes of the percentage-of-women breakdown, so the number of female equity partners as a percentage of the overall lawyer headcount is almost certainly less than 10 percent. In 2012, 9.9 percent of the lawyers practicing in the Pennsylvania offices of the state's largest firms were women partners.

Pennsylvania firms have increased their female partner ranks over the last decade. In 2003, 7.7 percent of the lawyers in the Pennsylvania offices of the largest firms in the state were women partners.

There are six firms at which women partners accounted for more than 20 percent of the firm's Pennsylvania lawyers.

Women partners equal 28.5 percent of Rubin, Fortunato & Harbison's Pennsylvania attorney ranks, they equal 25 percent of McQuaide Blasko's attorneys in the state, 22.2 percent of Willig, Williams & Davidson's attorney ranks, 21.4 percent at Eastburn and Gray, 21.3 percent at Littler Mendelson in Pennsylvania and 20.5 percent at Dilworth Paxson.

Similarly, there are six firms that reported no female partners, including the third ranked firm on PaLaw's list according to the overall percentage of women attorneys, Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer.

Almost 52 percent of Kane Pugh's 29 lawyers in Pennsylvania are women. All of those women—15—are associates. Burleson LLP, with 33 lawyers in the state, has no female partners but six female associates and four female of counsel. Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, RatnerPrestia, Powell Trachtman Logan Carrle & Lombardo and Volpe and Koenig are the other firms with no female partners in the state.

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