May 29, 2019

The strides women are making in law are not evenly distributed. Some practice areas and roles continue to remain the domain of men.

Law360’s Glass Ceiling data shows that there has been steady — if lackluster — growth over the last few years in the representation of women at firms. But in areas from mergers and acquisitions and multidistrict litigation to lead counsel positions at trial or international arbitration panels, women are still a fairly uncommon sight.

Here, Law360 hears from five women who are succeeding in largely male-dominated areas on what it’s like to be the only woman in the room.

. . .

Sharon Robertson
Cohen Milstein 

When Robertson was a senior associate, a case she had been working on for four to five years went to mediation. Everyone from the mediator to the attorneys on both sides was male, except for Robertson. At one point, the mediator came in after spending significant time with the defense counsel and laid out what he viewed to be problematic areas for Robertson’s clients — except his arguments were made on inaccurate information.

“I knew that there were inaccuracies. So I felt like I had a choice in that moment. I could be intimidated by the fact that I was surrounded by a bunch of male attorneys who were all more senior than me, or I could speak up,” she said.

. . .

Her advice:

"Look at the profiles of the female junior partners and the roles that they're taking on in cases. Those are the types of things that I think tell you whether or not a firm really values women and other diverse attorneys."

The complete article can be accessed here.