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Minority Women Partners: Some Cities Fare Better Than Others

Recent analysis by NALP reports that minority women continue to be dramatically underrepresented at the partnership level, making up less than 2% of partners in the nation's major law firms. The findings also reveal that, nationally, women and minorities continue to be much better represented in associate and summer associate ranks than in the partnership ranks. The analysis goes on to report that some cities fare better than others in the represetation of women in both partnerships and associateships nationwide:

Analyses for the 46 cities with the most attorneys represented in the directory reveal considerable variations in these demographic measures. Among the largest of these cities (those with more than 1,000 partners represented), Los Angeles and San Francisco show the highest representation of women, minorities, and minority women among both partners and associates. Minorities account for 12.03% and 12.59% of partners in these cities, respectively, and women account for 19.42% and 23.17% of partners, respectively. About 4% of partners are minority women. Firms in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, Seattle, and Washington, DC, also are close to or exceed national averages on most measures.

Among smaller cities, Miami and San Jose exceeded national averages, and San Diego is close to or exceeds national averages. In Miami, women account for 21.38% of partners; minorities, many of whom are Hispanic, account for 21.51% of partners, and 5.98% of partners are minority women. In the San Jose area the figures are 19.70%, 14.51%, and 3.39%, respectively. Some cities rank high on specific measures. For example, cities with relatively high percentages of women partners include: Austin, Denver, and New Orleans — all of which report at least 20% women partners. Similarly, Austin, Milwaukee, and Orange County have relatively high percentages of minority partners.

Among all cities, offices in Houston, Los Angeles, and Orange County, Miami, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Washington, DC rank highest on the representation of minorities among associates, with representation at one in five or greater in all of these cities. Representation of women among associates is highest in Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Seattle, where about half of associates are women. Minority women are most prevalent among associates in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, and Washington, DC.

For more information, visit Law Firm Diversity Demographics Slow to Change — Minority Women Remain Particularly Scarce in Law Firm Partnership Ranks.

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