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Why female litigators leave big law—and what could get them to stay

Robert Storace writes, "The big picture in Big Law was drastically different 30 years ago when women were paid much less than men, had very few positions of power and—in some cases—would walk into a room and be mistaken for the court reporter.

Those days are fading, female lawyers say, but inequities in pay, power and prestige in many of the largest law firms still exist. Several female attorneys who have made the climb to partner tell the Connecticut Law Tribune that there have been strides, but they say much more still needs to be done to smash through the glass ceiling.

The issue of gender equality in the legal profession has been a career-long mission for Greenberg Traurig’s Hilarie Bass, the Miami-based attorney who has been with Greenberg for 37 years, including the past six as its co-president.

Bass is so passionate about women achieving equity and equality in Big Law that she’s leaving the firm next month to work full-time for diversity and inclusion. She will work with law firms to ensure women achieve the respect, power and compensation they deserve—on par with their male counterparts.

She and other high-powered female attorneys told the Connecticut Law Tribune that mentorship and sponsorship are vital. They also agreed the issue of implicit bias must be addressed head-on, but they disagreed to some extent on the progress female attorneys have made over the past few decades." 


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