Glass Ceilings and Open Doors: Women’s Advancement in the Legal Profession

Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Robert Saute, Bonnie Oglensky and Martha Gever

The positions of law firm partner, corporate general counsel, and judge, in which women had enjoyed only token representation for much of the decade, appeared to be opening up. ... Ultimately, the mentor advocate - who has watched over and guided the career steps of a junior colleague - promotes his or her protege for partnership. ... So, in some ways you kind of want to back off from publicly being a mentor for somebody ... People will just say, "You want her to be a partner because she's a woman." ... From his account, a female partner was vociferously promoting a female associate as superior to all others being considered for partnership during one particular meeting, despite the fact that there was another associate - a man - who, in the eyes of this male partner, was even more qualified. ... They have needed skills, often different client and social networks, and usually a long-term commitment to large firm practice, but they lack networks within the firm and are not steeped in the firm's culture. ... An additional factor in the dynamics at play in such situations is the women partner's relative lack of power within the firms; for example, almost none have served on management committees.
  • Print Location 64 Fordham L. Rev. 291

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