Women and Attorneys of Color at Law Firms — 2005

NALP Bulletin, February 2006

Law firms represented in the 2005-2006 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE) collectively reported demographic information on 55,000 partners and more than 60,000 associates, senior attorneys, and staff attorneys. Attorneys of color accounted for 4.63% of partners and 15.62% of associates. The comparable figures for women were 17.29% and 44.12%, respectively. (For a complete analysis, including figures by firm size, city, and state, see Research and Directories > Press Releases > Women and Attorneys of Color Continue to Make Small Gains at Large Law Firms. Comparable figures for prior years are also online.)

Underlying these averages are well over 1,400 individual law offices, with representation 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 on the following two pages show these figures for 44 cities and eight states (excluding the 44 cities) with the most Directory listings.

  • Overall, a plurality of offices — 40.3% — 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 5% of offices in Miami had no partners of color. Conversely, most offices in Hartford, Northern New Jersey, Raleigh, Stamford/Greenwich, Salt Lake City, and Wilmington reported no partners of color.
  • Overall, 28% of offices reported that at least 6% of partners were of color, but again cities varied on this measure. Of the 44 cities, nine, including Cleveland, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Northern New Jersey, Richmond, and Stamford/Greenwich 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, and San Jose.
  • About 12% of 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. Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, New Orleans, and San Francisco had the highest proportion of offices in which women comprised 19% or more of partners. In each of these cities, half or more of offices reported that their partnership ranks included 19% or more women.
  • About 21% of all offices reported no associates of color, but well over one-third (38%) reported 16% or more associates of color. Hartford and Salt Lake City had the largest proportion of offices with no associates of color. 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 Cleveland, Columbus, Northern Virginia, and Salt Lake City. In contrast, few or none of the offices in Detroit, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Stamford/Greenwich reported fewer than one-third women associates. Cities most likely to have offices where women accounted for half or more of associates include Denver, Ft. Lauderdale/West Palm Beach, New Orleans, Stamford/Greenwich, and San Francisco.
  • Compared with information from the prior year (from the 2004-2005 NDLE), the percentage of offices in the “none” category has changed very little. However, there was a small increase in the percentage of offices in the 6% or more partners of color category — from 25.5% to 28.1% — and in the percentage of offices with 50% or more women associates — from 31.8% to 35.2%.

Note: In the tables below, 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 repeated firmwide demographic information for each office listing, demographic information was retained for just one office to avoid double counting. The associates category includes senior and staff attorneys. Some city information includes one or more offices in adjacent suburbs. Orange County includes offices in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Newport Beach. The San Jose area includes offices in Cupertino, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto and E. Palo Alto, Redwood Shores/Redwood City, San Jose, and Sunnyvale. The Detroit area includes offices in Bloomfield Hills, Bingham Farms, Southfield, and Troy. The Northern New Jersey/Newark area includes offices in Newark, Roseland, West Orange, Florham Park, Hackensack, Morristown, Parsippany, Short Hills, Westfield, Bridgewater, and Woodbridge. Northern Virginia includes offices in Falls Church, McLean, Reston, Vienna, and Alexandria. State figures exclude cities reported separately.


Representation of Women and Minorities Among Law Firm Associates — 2005
(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 18.9 19.6 26.4 35.2 21.3 16.7 24.1 37.9 1,416
By Firm Size:
100 or fewer 28.5 19.9 16.6 35.1 34.4 19.9 17.2 28.5 302
101-250 17.8 19.3 28.0 34.9 18.9 26.5 26.5 28.0 275
251-500 18.1 18.6 25.7 37.6 29.4 14.1 24.0 32.5 354
501+ 14.0 20.2 32.2 33.6 8.5 11.1 27.0 53.4 485
By City:
Atlanta 25.0 12.5 27.5 35.0 10.0 17.5 32.5 40.0 40
Austin 22.2 38.9 16.7 22.2 0.0 16.7 38.9 44.4 18
Baltimore 20.0 10.0 50.0 20.0 20.0 10.0 60.0 10.0 10
Birmingham 30.0 30.0 10.0 30.0 30.0 40.0 20.0 10.0 10
Boston 11.1 25.0 33.3 30.6 13.9 25.0 41.7 19.4 36
Charlotte 22.2 44.4 27.8 5.6 44.4 33.3 16.7 5.6 18
Chicago 21.8 21.8 36.4 20.0 9.1 12.7 40.0 38.2 55
Cincinnati 33.3 16.7 16.7 33.3 41.7 33.3 16.7 8.3 12
Cleveland 35.7 7.1 21.4 35.7 14.3 35.7 42.9 7.1 14
Columbus 35.7 0.0 28.6 35.7 14.3 21.4 50.0 14.3 14
Dallas 26.3 31.6 21.1 21.1 15.8 36.8 26.3 21.1 38
Denver 12.5 12.5 16.7 58.3 16.7 20.8 37.5 25.0 24
Detroit area 7.1 28.6 28.6 35.7 14.3 35.7 35.7 14.3 14
Ft. Lauderdale/W. Palm Beach 27.3 0.0 9.1 63.6 45.5 0.0 36.4 18.2 11
Hartford 14.3 28.6 21.4 35.7 50.0 21.4 21.4 7.1 14
Houston 25.6 20.5 28.2 25.6 25.6 15.4 23.1 35.9 39
Indianapolis 11.1 0.0 77.8 11.1 33.3 55.6 11.1 0.0 9
Kansas City area 0.0 30.8 38.5 30.8 15.4 53.8 30.8 0.0 13
Los Angeles 12.5 14.8 35.2 37.5 6.8 2.3 11.4 79.5 88
Miami 20.0 10.0 25.0 45.0 5.0 0.0 0.0 95.0 20
Milwaukee 0.0 33.3 44.4 22.2 22.2 55.6 22.2 0.0 9
Minneapolis/St. Paul 30.0 0.0 20.0 50.0 15.0 45.0 25.0 15.0 20
Nashville 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 40.0 20.0 20.0 20.0 10
New Orleans 12.5 12.5 0.0 75.0 12.5 37.5 12.5 37.5 8
New York City 11.4 20.5 37.9 30.3 12.9 6.8 23.5 56.8 132
Northern NJ/Newark area 26.1 17.4 34.8 21.7 8.7 8.7 60.9 21.7 23
Northern Virginia 38.1 19.0 23.8 19.0 23.8 4.8 42.9 28.6 21
Orange Co., CA 27.6 27.6 24.1 20.7 13.8 6.9 20.7 58.6 29
Philadelphia 11.1 5.6 44.4 38.9 16.7 33.3 27.8 22.2 18
Phoenix 14.3 35.7 21.4 28.6 14.3 28.6 35.7 21.4 14
Pittsburgh 0.0 38.5 46.2 15.4 30.8 46.2 23.1 0.0 13
Portland, OR 25.0 25.0 18.8 31.3 18.8 31.3 12.5 37.5 16
Raleigh/Durham 30.0 20.0 10.0 40.0 30.0 50.0 10.0 10.0 10
Richmond 16.7 50.0 16.7 16.7 33.3 33.3 33.3 0.0 6
Salt Lake City 57.1 14.3 14.3 14.3 71.4 14.3 14.3 0.0 7
San Diego 15.0 25.0 15.0 45.0 15.0 20.0 20.0 45.0 20
San Francisco 10.3 5.2 19.0 65.5 3.4 0.0 22.4 74.1 58
San Jose area 16.7 27.8 19.4 36.1 5.6 0.0 0.0 94.4 36
Seattle area 18.8 9.4 28.1 43.8 25.0 9.4 28.1 37.5 32
St. Louis 10.0 30.0 50.0 10.0 20.0 40.0 30.0 10.0 10
Stamford/Greenwich 0.0 11.1 22.2 66.7 44.4 22.2 11.1 22.2 9
Tampa/St. Petersburg 30.8 30.8 15.4 23.1 30.8 30.8 15.4 23.1 13
Washington, DC 13.2 17.1 28.7 41.1 6.2 14.0 26.4 53.5 129
Wilmington 25.0 33.3 25.0 16.7 25.0 33.3 16.7 25.0 12
By State:
Kentucky 11.1 11.1 33.3 44.4 44.4 33.3 22.2 0.0 9
Nevada 35.7 42.9 7.1 14.3 57.1 7.1 7.1 28.6 14
Other locations in California 22.2 11.1 16.7 50.0 16.7 16.7 33.3 33.3 18
Other locations in Florida 7.1 21.4 21.4 50.0 28.6 7.1 28.6 35.7 14
Other locations in Michigan 33.3 20.0 20.0 26.7 80.0 0.0 13.3 6.7 15
Other locations in New Jersey 0.0 14.3 42.9 42.9 14.3 14.3 28.6 42.9 7
Other locations in New York State 7.7 38.5 30.8 23.1 46.2 30.8 15.4 7.7 13
Other locations in Texas 25.0 0.0 25.0 50.0 37.5 6.3 12.5 43.8 16

Representation of Women and Minorities Among Law Firm Partners — 2005
(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 11.8 22.7 29.9 35.5 40.3 11.2 20.4 28.1 1,421
By Firm Size:
100 or fewer 12.5 27.7 26.7 33.0 49.8 10.2 17.8 22.1 303
101-250 11.9 22.0 35.4 30.7 38.3 21.7 20.2 19.9 277
251-500 11.5 19.1 26.1 43.3 44.1 10.4 20.2 25.3 356
501+ 11.5 22.7 31.5 34.2 32.6 6.4 22.3 38.6 485
By City:
Atlanta 15.0 27.5 27.5 30.0 30.0 5.0 25.0 40.0 40
Austin 11.1 22.2 33.3 33.3 11.1 11.1 11.1 66.7 18
Baltimore 10.0 0.0 70.0 20.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 10.0 10
Birmingham 0.0 30.0 40.0 30.0 20.0 30.0 30.0 20.0 10
Boston 8.3 11.1 33.3 47.2 44.4 27.8 19.4 8.3 36
Charlotte 38.9 33.3 16.7 11.1 50.0 16.7 22.2 11.1 18
Chicago 1.8 14.5 38.2 45.5 21.8 21.8 34.5 20.0 55
Cincinnati 8.3 33.3 33.3 25.0 33.3 33.3 8.3 25.0 12
Cleveland 0.0 28.6 21.4 50.0 28.6 14.3 57.1 0.0 14
Columbus 21.4 14.3 35.7 28.6 28.6 7.1 35.7 28.6 14
Dallas 7.9 26.3 21.1 44.7 42.1 5.3 34.2 18.4 38
Denver 12.5 33.3 8.3 45.8 37.5 4.2 12.5 45.8 24
Detroit area 0.0 7.1 42.9 50.0 14.3 35.7 35.7 14.3 14
Ft. Lauderdale/W. Palm Beach 18.2 18.2 18.2 45.5 54.5 0.0 9.1 36.4 11
Hartford 28.6 21.4 14.3 35.7 71.4 21.4 7.1 0.0 14
Houston 12.8 23.1 35.9 28.2 41.0 2.6 30.8 25.6 39
Indianapolis 22.2 22.2 33.3 22.2 44.4 33.3 22.2 0.0 9
Kansas City area 7.7 38.5 38.5 15.4 46.2 38.5 15.4 0.0 13
Los Angeles 6.7 25.8 21.3 46.1 28.1 1.1 16.9 53.9 89
Miami 0.0 10.0 25.0 65.0 5.0 0.0 0.0 95.0 20
Milwaukee 11.1 11.1 55.6 22.2 33.3 55.6 11.1 0.0 9
Minneapolis/St. Paul 0.0 20.0 30.0 50.0 45.0 30.0 20.0 5.0 20
Nashville 30.0 20.0 30.0 20.0 50.0 20.0 20.0 10.0 10
New Orleans 12.5 0.0 25.0 62.5 25.0 12.5 25.0 37.5 8
New York City 8.3 37.9 34.8 18.9 33.3 12.9 28.8 25.0 132
Northern NJ/Newark area 26.1 21.7 30.4 21.7 69.6 8.7 21.7 0.0 23
Northern Virginia 23.8 33.3 23.8 19.0 52.4 4.8 9.5 33.3 21
Orange Co., CA 24.1 31.0 24.1 20.7 44.8 0.0 13.8 41.4 29
Philadelphia 0.0 27.8 27.8 44.4 44.4 22.2 33.3 0.0 18
Phoenix 6.7 20.0 46.7 26.7 33.3 13.3 46.7 6.7 15
Pittsburgh 0.0 30.8 30.8 38.5 53.8 15.4 30.8 0.0 13
Portland, OR 18.8 18.8 18.8 43.8 50.0 37.5 6.3 6.3 16
Raleigh/Durham 10.0 30.0 10.0 50.0 70.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10
Richmond 0.0 50.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 50.0 50.0 0.0 6
Salt Lake City 14.3 71.4 0.0 14.3 85.7 14.3 0.0 0.0 7
San Diego 5.0 35.0 15.0 45.0 30.0 10.0 10.0 50.0 20
San Francisco 10.3 8.6 24.1 56.9 32.8 5.2 12.1 50.0 58
San Jose area 19.4 19.4 25.0 36.1 33.3 2.8 2.8 61.1 36
Seattle area 21.9 9.4 31.3 37.5 31.3 3.1 15.6 50.0 32
St. Louis 10.0 10.0 60.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 20.0 10.0 10
Stamford/Greenwich 0.0 22.2 33.3 44.4 88.9 0.0 0.0 11.1 9
Tampa/St. Petersburg 15.4 15.4 61.5 7.7 46.2 7.7 15.4 30.8 13
Washington, DC 6.9 14.5 35.9 42.7 25.2 9.2 28.2 37.4 131
Wilmington 25.0 41.7 8.3 25.0 75.0 0.0 16.7 8.3 12
By State:
Kentucky 11.1 11.1 55.6 22.2 44.4 44.4 11.1 0.0 9
Nevada 14.3 14.3 28.6 42.9 78.6 0.0 7.1 14.3 14
Other locations in California 33.3 5.6 27.8 33.3 50.0 0.0 16.7 33.3 18
Other locations in Florida 0.0 28.6 21.4 50.0 42.9 0.0 7.1 50.0 14
Other locations in Michigan 33.3 20.0 26.7 20.0 60.0 13.3 6.7 20.0 15
Other locations in New Jersey 0.0 42.9 0.0 57.1 85.7 0.0 14.3 0.0 7
Other locations in New York State 0.0 30.8 38.5 30.8 76.9 0.0 23.1 0.0 13
Other locations in Texas 6.3 25.0 25.0 43.8 31.3 0.0 12.5 56.3 16
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