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On March 15, 2016, the National Association of Women Lawyers® (NAWL) announced its One-Third by 2020 Challenge, calling for an increase in the representation of women across five different areas of the law. NAWL challenges the legal profession to meet the following goals by the year 2020:

  • Fortune 1000 General Counsels are at least one-third women;
  • Each class of new law firm equity partners is at least one-third women;
  • Annual law firm lateral hires (both partners and associates) are at least one-third women;
  • Law school Deans are at least one-third women; and
  • Diverse female attorneys (including women of color and LBTQI attorneys) increase in every segment of the legal profession by at least one-third.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015 the U.S. legal profession is 33% women, yet women are not represented at the top levels of practice in the same percentages.

  • Women comprise only 18% of AmLaw 200 law firm equity partners. (NAWL's Ninth Annual Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, October 2015.)
  • Women comprise 24% of Fortune 500 General Counsel and 21.5% of the Fortune 1000. (Minority Corporate Counsel Association's 16th Annual General Counsel Survey, December 2015.)
  • Women comprise 30% of deans of ABA accredited law schools. ("Female Deans Taking Charge," National Law Journal, June 22, 2015.) 

For the past 10 years, NAWL has tracked the professional progress of women in law firms and in this past year's survey found the numbers to be virtually the same as they were a decade ago. This new challenge calls for dramatic change because if the pace is not quickened, women equity partners will not even reach the 2006 goal of 30% until the year 2181. (NAWL's Ninth Annual Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, October 2015). 


NAWL invites you and your organization to support the NAWL Challenge and the advancement of women lawyers. Please show your support:

#MeetingTheChallenge | #OneThirdby2020

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