Women and Attorneys of Color at Law Firms — 2004

NALP Bulletin, February 2005 

Law firms represented in the 2004-2005 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE) collectively reported demographic information on almost 54,000 partners and more than 61,000 associates, senior attorneys, and staff attorneys. Attorneys of color accounted for 4.32% of partners and 15.06% of associates. The comparable figures for women were 17.06% and 47.74%, respectively. (For a complete analysis, go to... Comparable figures for the prior two years are also online.)

Underlying these averages are well over 1,300 individual law offices with percentages starting at zero and ranging upwards. Thus, an additional perspective on the presence of women and attorneys of color is provided by examining how many offices have relatively high representation, some representation, or no representation of women and attorneys of color.

The charts below show these figures for the 41 cities and eight states (excluding the 41 cities) with the most Directory listings.

  • Nationwide, a plurality of offices — almost 41% — had no partners of color.

  • Although every city had at least some firms reporting partners of color, cities varied a great deal. For example, just 14% of offices in Miami had no partners of color. Conversely, two-thirds or more of the offices in Hartford, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, and Wilmington reported no partners of color.

  • Nationwide, one-quarter of offices reported that at least 6% of partners were of color, but again cities varied on this measure. Of the 41 cities, 11, including Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia, did not have any offices reporting representation at or above the 6% level. Cities with the most firms in this category include Austin, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose.

  • About one in ten offices reported having no women partners. Somewhat more than one-third of offices reported that 19% or more of partners were women. Again, variations by city are evident. Although every city had at least some offices reporting women partners, Denver, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Diego, and San Francisco had the highest proportion of offices in which women comprised 19% or more of partners. In each of these cities, about half the offices reported that their partnership ranks included 19% or more women.

  • About 21% of all offices reported no associates of color, but almost one-third reported 16% or more associates of color. Although every city had at least some offices with associates of color, Hartford, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh had the fewest such offices. Cities in which a high percentage of offices reported 16% or more associates of color include Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and San Jose.

  • Offices where fewer than one-third of associates were women were most common in Birmingham, Charlotte, and Wilmington. In contrast, few or none of the offices in Baltimore, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Tampa/St. Petersburg reported fewer than one-third women associates. Cities most likely to have offices where women accounted for half or more of associates include Denver, Indianapolis, and San Francisco.

  • ompared with information based on the 2003-2004 NDLE, the percentage of offices in the "none" category has changed very little, with the exception of a small decrease in the percentage of offices with no minority partners — from 43% to 40.7%. However, there was a small increase in the percentage of offices in the 6% or more partners of color category — from 23.1% to 25.5%— and in the percentage of offices with 50% or more women associates — from 29.9% to 31.8% of offices.

Representation of Women and Minorities among Law Firm Associates — 2004
(percent of offices in each range of representation)


WOMEN ASSOCIATES AS % OF TOTAL

MINORITY ASSOCIATES AS % OF TOTAL

# of Offices

Up to 33%

33.01 – 40.99%

41 – 49.99%

50% or More

None

0.01 – 9%

9.01 – 15.99%

16% or More

Nationwide 20.6 21.6 26.0 31.8 20.1 18.6 26.5 34.7 1,357
By Firm Size:
100 or fewer 28.8 20.4 18.6 32.3 32.3 19.6 20.0 28.1 285
101-250 20.5 22.7 27.3 29.5 18.0 31.3 26.6 24.1 278
251-500 21.3 19.2 24.0 35.5 26.3 16.9 27.8 29.0 338
501+ 15.1 23.5 31.4 30.0 9.2 11.6 29.6 49.6 456
By City:
Atlanta 23.7 15.8 28.9 31.6 15.8 21.1 23.7 39.5 38
Austin 27.8 38.9 16.7 16.7 5.6 11.1 44.4 38.9 18
Baltimore 20.0 40.0 40.0 10.0 30.0 50.0 10.0 10
Birmingham 54.5 9.1 36.4 27.3 72.7 11
Boston 16.1 19.4 35.5 29.0 9.7 25.8 48.4 16.1 31
Charlotte 50.0 18.8 31.3 37.5 37.5 18.8 6.3 16
Chicago 24.1 25.9 31.5 18.5 16.7 16.7 42.6 24.1 54
Cincinnati 45.5 18.2 36.4 36.4 45.5 9.1 9.1 11
Cleveland 36.4 18.2 36.4 9.1 9.1 81.8 9.1 11
Columbus 16.7 33.3 33.3 16.7 16.7 41.7 25.0 16.7 12
Dallas 30.6 27.8 16.7 25.0 11.1 30.6 38.9 19.4 36
Denver 18.2 18.2 9.1 54.5 18.2 31.8 22.7 27.3 22
Detroit area 12.5 25.0 25.0 37.5 18.8 37.5 18.8 25.0 16
Ft. Lauderdale/W. Palm Beach 11.1 33.3 22.2 33.3 33.3 22.2 22.2 22.2 9
Hartford 16.7 25.0 25.0 33.3 58.3 25.0 16.7 12
Houston 27.3 21.2 36.4 15.2 12.1 12.1 30.3 45.5 33
Indianapolis 42.9 57.1 42.9 57.1 7
Kansas City area 7.7 30.8 23.1 38.5 30.8 46.2 23.1 13
Los Angeles 9.2 22.4 22.4 46.1 2.6 2.6 14.5 80.3 76
Miami 13.6 27.3 31.8 27.3 9.1 9.1 81.8 22
Milwaukee 44.4 44.4 11.1 11.1 66.7 22.2 9
Minneapolis/St. Paul 15.8 10.5 26.3 47.4 15.8 42.1 21.1 21.1 19
Nashville 11.1 55.6 11.1 22.2 22.2 44.4 22.2 11.1 9
New York City 14.0 21.7 36.4 27.9 11.6 8.5 30.2 49.6 129
Newark 27.3 36.4 36.4 18.2 54.5 27.3 11
Northern Virginia 33.3 38.1 9.5 19.0 23.8 9.5 42.9 23.8 21
Orange Co., CA 26.9 26.9 11.5 34.6 3.8 19.2 15.4 61.5 26
Philadelphia 10.0 25.0 30.0 35.0 20.0 30.0 45.0 5.0 20
Phoenix 7.1 50.0 21.4 21.4 21.4 28.6 28.6 21.4 14
Pittsburgh 13.3 33.3 46.7 6.7 46.7 40.0 13.3 15
Portland, OR 26.7 13.3 33.3 26.7 20.0 40.0 33.3 6.7 15
Raleigh/Durham 36.4 18.2 18.2 27.3 27.3 54.5 9.1 9.1 11
Richmond 33.3 44.4 22.2 22.2 33.3 33.3 11.1 9
San Diego 17.6 29.4 17.6 35.3 5.9 11.8 29.4 52.9 17
San Francisco 10.2 11.9 25.4 52.5 5.1 5.1 18.6 71.2 59
San Jose area 29.0 25.8 19.4 25.8 3.2 9.7 87.1 31
Seattle area 19.4 12.9 22.6 45.2 19.4 9.7 32.3 38.7 31
St. Louis 22.2 11.1 55.6 11.1 11.1 55.6 22.2 11.1 9
Tampa/St. Petersburg 7.7 53.8 38.5 23.1 15.4 23.1 38.5 13
Washington, DC 13.6 20.5 31.8 34.1 6.8 11.4 40.2 41.7 132
Wilmington 54.5 9.1 18.2 18.2 18.2 45.5 18.2 18.2 11
By State:
Kentucky 42.9 57.1 42.9 28.6 28.6 7
Nevada 33.3 25.0 16.7 25.0 50.0 41.7 8.3 12
Other locations in California 32.0 20.0 16.0 32.0 28.0 4.0 20.0 48.0 25
Other locations in Florida 15.4 15.4 23.1 46.2 23.1 7.7 38.5 30.8 13
Other locations in Michigan 28.6 7.1 64.3 71.4 7.1 14.3 7.1 14
Other locations in New Jersey 11.1 22.2 44.4 22.2 11.1 33.3 33.3 22.2 18
Other locations in New York State 15.4 46.2 15.4 23.1 46.2 30.8 23.1 13
Other locations in Texas 38.9 11.1 22.2 27.8 44.4 16.7 38.9 18

 

Representation of Women and Minorities among Law Firm Partners — 2004
(percent of offices in each range of representation)


WOMEN PARTNERS AS % OF TOTAL

MINORITY PARTNERS AS % OF TOTAL

# of Offices

None

0.01 – 13%

13.01 – 18.99%

19% or More

None

0.01 – 3%

3.01 – 5.99%

6% or More

Nationwide 10.4 24.9 30.3 34.4 40.7 12.6 21.1 25.5 1,360
By Firm Size:
100 or fewer 10.5 29.8 23.2 36.5 49.1 9.5 18.6 22.8 285
101-250 7.9 25.7 36.4 30.0 38.6 24.3 21.8 15.4 280
251-500 10.9 21.8 28.3 38.9 47.2 10.0 20.6 22.1 339
501+ 11.6 23.5 32.5 32.5 32.0 9.4 22.6 36.0 456
By City:
Atlanta 7.9 31.6 36.8 23.7 26.3 7.9 23.7 42.1 38
Austin 16.7 22.2 27.8 33.3 27.8 11.1 11.1 50.0 18
Baltimore 10.0 10.0 40.0 40.0 20.0 40.0 30.0 10.0 10
Birmingham 9.1 36.4 36.4 18.2 27.3 27.3 36.4 9.1 11
Boston 3.2 16.1 48.4 32.3 32.3 25.8 35.5 6.5 31
Charlotte 37.5 43.8 18.8 62.5 18.8 6.3 12.5 16
Chicago 5.6 14.8 48.1 31.5 20.4 24.1 40.7 14.8 54
Cincinnati 18.2 18.2 45.5 18.2 54.5 18.2 9.1 18.2 11
Cleveland 36.4 36.4 27.3 27.3 18.2 54.5 11
Columbus 8.3 33.3 25.0 33.3 25.0 8.3 33.3 33.3 12
Dallas 8.3 30.6 19.4 41.7 33.3 25.0 19.4 22.2 36
Denver 13.6 22.7 13.6 50.0 40.9 13.6 31.8 13.6 22
Detroit area 18.8 31.3 50.0 25.0 25.0 25.0 25.0 16
Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach 20.0 10.0 20.0 50.0 60.0 20.0 20.0 10
Hartford 25.0 16.7 25.0 33.3 66.7 33.3 12
Houston 18.2 12.1 42.4 27.3 27.3 3.0 30.3 39.4 33
Indianapolis 57.1 14.3 28.6 42.9 42.9 14.3 7
Kansas City area 7.7 38.5 38.5 15.4 69.2 30.8 13
Los Angeles 5.3 26.3 15.8 52.6 27.6 3.9 14.5 53.9 76
Miami 22.7 36.4 40.9 13.6 86.4 22
Milwaukee 11.1 11.1 55.6 22.2 33.3 44.4 22.2 9
Minneapolis/St. Paul 21.1 31.6 47.4 36.8 36.8 21.1 5.3 19
Nashville 11.1 22.2 55.6 11.1 44.4 33.3 22.2 9
New York City 7.8 35.7 34.9 21.7 34.1 15.5 26.4 24.0 129
Newark 18.2 54.5 18.2 9.1 63.6 9.1 18.2 9.1 11
Northern Virginia 28.6 28.6 28.6 14.3 47.6 4.8 19.0 28.6 21
Orange Co., CA 26.9 26.9 30.8 15.4 61.5 19.2 19.2 26
Philadelphia 25.0 25.0 50.0 35.0 30.0 35.0 20
Phoenix 21.4 42.9 35.7 42.9 7.1 35.7 14.3 14
Pittsburgh 26.7 26.7 46.7 66.7 13.3 20.0 15
Portland, OR 20.0 20.0 20.0 40.0 53.3 13.3 13.3 20.0 15
Raleigh/Durham 9.1 36.4 18.2 36.4 72.7 9.1 9.1 9.1 11
Richmond 33.3 66.7 22.2 22.2 55.6 9
San Diego 29.4 23.5 47.1 29.4 11.8 17.6 41.2 17
San Francisco 11.9 11.9 25.4 50.8 33.9 1.7 11.9 52.5 59
San Jose area 25.8 16.1 19.4 38.7 38.7 6.5 54.8 31
Seattle area 16.1 12.9 25.8 45.2 32.3 6.5 25.8 35.5 31
St. Louis 11.1 22.2 66.7 33.3 55.6 11.1 9
Tampa/St. Petersburg 15.4 38.5 38.5 7.7 38.5 7.7 23.1 30.8 13
Washington, DC 6.0 20.9 33.6 39.6 26.9 14.2 29.9 29.1 134
Wilmington 27.3 36.4 18.2 18.2 90.9 9.1 11
By State:
Kentucky 14.3 57.1 28.6 42.9 57.1 7
Nevada 16.7 25.0 8.3 50.0 91.7 8.3 12
Other locations in California 20.0 20.0 16.0 44.0 44.0 16.0 40.0 25
Other locations in Florida 53.8 7.7 38.5 46.2 15.4 38.5 13
Other locations in Michigan 21.4 28.6 21.4 28.6 50.0 21.4 7.1 21.4 14
Other locations in New Jersey 5.6 27.8 33.3 33.3 66.7 11.1 16.7 5.6 18
Other locations in New York State 30.8 38.5 30.8 76.9 23.1 13
Other locations in Texas 11.1 16.7 27.8 44.4 33.3 16.7 50.0 18

 

Note: The count of offices shown in the last column indicates the number of offices with demographic information on partners and associates. For law firms that reported firm-wide information on attorneys of color for each office listing, demographic information was retained for just one office, usually the "home" office, to avoid double counting. The associates category includes senior and staff attorneys. The Kansas City area includes offices in Overland Park, Kansas. Orange County includes offices in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Newport Beach. The San Jose area includes offices in Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Sunnyvale. The Seattle area includes offices in Bellevue and Kirkland. The Detroit area includes offices in Bloomfield Hills, Bingham Farms, and Southfield. The Newark area includes offices in Newark, West Orange, and Roseland. A few offices in Canada and Puerto Rico are included; offices in Europe and Asia are excluded.

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