The ABA Journal has this troubling trend to report: a decline of female associate lawyers.
The percentage of female associates in law firms has fallen slightly for the third year in a row, even as women made small gains in partnership ranks, according to NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals.
Women made up 45.05 percent of associates in an “incremental but steady slide from 45.66 percent in 2009,” according to a NALP press release.
Women account for 19.91 percent of law firm partners, compared to 19.54 percent last year. Overall, women represent 32.67 percent of lawyers in law firms in 2012, compared with 32.61 percent in 2011 and 32.69 percent in 2010. The high water mark, reached in 2009, was 32.97 percent.
Minorities make up 20.32 percent of the associate ranks, up from 19.9 percent last year.Minority women are “the most dramatically underrepresented group” at the partnership level, comprising 2.16 percent of partners in 2012, the press release says.