October 19, 2020

While law firms continue to tout efforts to close the gender gap in their ranks, parity is still a distant goal, our annual survey shows.

Law360's Glass Ceiling Report indicates only incremental growth in the number of female lawyers in private practice. Female attorneys remain underrepresented at U.S. law firms, particularly at the highest levels.

The COVID-19 pandemic will certainly cast that industry reality in a new light in the coming months. Firms face new questions of how they can support and maintain their workforce amid an ongoing global health crisis and economic uncertainty.

Pandemic-inspired shutdowns of schools and businesses are also intensifying the tension between work and home duties for many, and the stress of those added burdens appears to be disproportionately carried by female workers, recent polling suggests.

As the disruptions continue, more women may also feel pressure to choose between caring for family members and working, limiting their opportunities to advance.

Law360's latest Glass Ceiling Report provides a data-driven view of female attorney representation at U.S. law firms at the end of 2019. With the gender parity needle virtually at a standstill then, the outlook for women, in particular, remains highly uncertain for 2020. For now, our report shows a picture of an industry still working to bridge gender gaps and delivering only incremental improvements.

Law360's annual report reveals that 37% of attorneys and about 25% of all partners at surveyed law firms are women — similar results to last year's report.

Cohen Milstein exceeded industry averages and was recognized as the #3 firm in the 101-250 attorney category with 48.1% female attorneys and 35.3% female equity partners.
 
The complete 2020 Glass Ceiling Report can be accessed here; Law360's analysis of the Report can be viewed here.