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Percentage of women associates falling

NALP says data shows a “significant and troubling trend”

Despite the fact that women now hold one-third of all jobs in the U.S. legal industry, the actual percentage of women associates is falling, according to new data from NALP, the Association for Legal Career Professionals.

The NALP reports that the total percent change in women partners over the past two decades has been “marginal.” In 1993, women accounted for 12.27 percent of law firm partners; in 2012, they comprised 19.91 percent of law firm partners.

And although women account for about 45 percent of associates at the country’s law firms, that percentage has actually been falling since 2009, according to the NALP. James Leipold, NALP’s executive directors, said in a statement that although the percent of minority associates has bounced back since the recession, “the overall representation of women associates has continued to decline.” He added that the continued decline in women associates is a “significant and troubling trend” because it could undermine the slight growth in women partners, therefore making it unsustainable.

Read more about the NALP’s findings.

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Contributing Author

Ashley Post

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