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Gender and Diversity trends in US Law Firms

Discover what our research into this US legal market this year has told us about Gender and Diversity trends and its importance across the legal industry.

Published on 22 July 2022
Written by Kush Cheema
Kush Cheema

How much emphasis is placed on Gender and Diversity?

The diversity of law firm teams is something that’s really exploded over the past few years, Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) used to not come up in most of the selection procedure conversations we had with clients, especially in the corporate practice areas. However, over the last few years we’ve seen consideration of D&I policies and statistics become more formalized, and we have seen deep investigations from clients into the D&I in their firms and feedback their findings to us in the research interviews.   

What has our research told us?  

This has been reflected in number of men and women ranked in our up and coming and associate categories which are either at or within touching distance of gender parity for these categories despite the numbers having almost doubled from where we were a few years ago. As the generational shift in the legal industry gets underway and these women and diverse attorneys start featuring in the numerical bands, we hope to see a more equal representation of men and women as they enter their prime, which will then be expressed back in the Guide.    

Another thing that has been encouraging is the rise of the total number of women achieving rankings, which has been increasing at a steady pace year on year. There is of course a long way to go but, it has been great to recognize and celebrate the achievements of more women lawyers and we did want champion three firms who have been performing particularly well in terms of gender diversity for ranked attorneys. From the data for firms with over 100 ranked lawyers in the Chambers USA Guide, the three firms with best ratios of female to male lawyers were Ropes & Gray, Davis Wright Tremaine and, at the top of the pile, Morrison & Foerster.    

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