I am proud to be the managing partner at Levin & Perconti, a nationally recognized personal injury and medical malpractice law firm, where 50 percent of our attorneys and 46 percent of our partners are women.
In recent years as the number of our female lawyers and partners increased, so did we have success as a firm. Female lawyers play leading roles in most of the firm’s biggest cases and many are successfully balancing careers and families.
I wish I could say that in 2023 our firm is the norm for the legal profession, but sadly it is not, especially in the area of law we practice, which traditionally is male dominated. Many law firms are still operating like it was the 1960s, and it is pushing too many female lawyers out of the profession.
In recent years women have accounted for more than half of the nation’s law students, but female attorneys make up only 38 percent of the legal profession. There is a leaky pipeline with many talented female lawyers leaving the profession within 10 years mainly because of the lack of flexibility law firms provide women during the childbearing years and when raising young children, an unsupportive culture and even today, unequal pay and career advancement.
Plugging that pipeline and stopping the exodus is not just the right thing to do for women, it’s also a smart business move. Law firms spend time and money recruiting and training lawyers. To have female lawyers leave just as they are reaching their prime and taking their expertise and working relationships with them is not a good return on investment. It is disruptive for clients and unsustainable for the legal profession moving forward in the future.