Still Relatively Few Openly GLBT or Disabled Lawyers Reported

NALP Bulletin, December 2005 

While the reported numbers of openly GLBT lawyers rose slightly in 2005, the reporting of this information continues to lag far behind reporting of information on race/ethnicity and gender. As shown in the table below, openly GLBT lawyers account for just over 1% of the more than 134,000 lawyers and summer associates reported by firms and offices in the 2005-2006 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE). At about 1.8%, the reported number of openly GLBT lawyers is higher among associates and of counsel at large firms than in any other category. Disabled lawyers are even less common, accounting for just over 0.13% of lawyers and summer associates, a prevalence that varies little by firm size.

Despite small gains in the overall numbers of GLBT lawyers, these percentages are little changed from the two prior years. The most recent numbers show 1,458, or 1.18%, openly GLBT lawyers (compared to 1,316 in 2004) and 165 disabled lawyers (compared to 171 in 2004). About two-thirds of the reported openly GLBT lawyers are accounted for by four cities: New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The overall percentage of openly GLBT lawyers in these cities is correspondingly higher — 2.1% compared with the 1.2% nationwide figure.

Just one-third of all firms and offices reported at least one openly GLBT lawyer or summer associate, and just under 9% of all offices reported at least one disabled lawyer or summer associate. It remains difficult to determine how many firms and offices collect this information. Offices and firms are most likely to report one or more GLBT partners or associates, with 19% and 23%, respectively, doing so. While some offices fill in this portion of the demographic grid with zeroes, many do not. For this latter group, it cannot be determined if there are no lawyers in these categories, or if the information was not collected. Note that changes to the NDLE for 2006 will require that employers report a number, including “zero,” or select the “not collected” or “unknown” options that will be available for the entire demographic data chart.

 

Reporting of Openly Gay and Disabled Lawyers —
NALP Directory of Legal Employers 2005


ALL FIRMS

FIRMS OF 100 OR FEWER LAWYERS

FIRMS OF 101-250 LAWYERS

FIRMS OF 251-500 LAWYERS

FIRMS OF 500+ LAWYERS

Openly Gay
Partners 504 0.91% 68 0.86% 100 0.72% 111 0.79% 225 1.16%
Of Counsel 85 1.06 6 0.55 11 0.57 18 0.85 50 1.75
Associates* 869 1.44 46 0.82 126 1.08 161 1.16 536 1.83
Summer Assoc. 93 0.89 5 0.60 4 0.23 15 0.68 69 1.22
Disabled
Partners 87 0.16 12 0.15 26 0.19 19 0.14 30 0.15
Of Counsel 16 0.20 1 0.09 4 0.21 1 0.05 10 0.35
Associates* 62 0.10 6 0.11 12 0.10 13 0.09 31 0.1
Summer Assoc. 7 0.07 0 0 2 0.11 2 0.09 3 0.05

 

Note: The “associates” category includes senior attorneys and staff attorneys. Percentages for all firms are based on the following counts:

Partners 55,113 Of counsel 7,988
Associates 60,367 Summer Associates 10,487
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