By Casey Sullivan
Dec 13 (Reuters) - For the third year in a row, the number
of woman associates at law firms remained unchanged, according
to a report released on Thursday by the National Association for
The report, based on information from more than 1,200 law
offices around the country, said that the percentage of women
associates employed at law firms was 45.05 percent in 2012,
compared to 45.66 percent in 2009. Firms surveyed ranged from
fewer than 100 attorneys to more than 700.
James Leipold, the executive director for NALP, said in a
statement that the findings were "significant and troubling,"
since the decline of women associates comes at a time when many
female junior lawyers are struggling to make partner. He
attributed the stagnant numbers to "recession-era layoffs" at
The report found more optimistic signs among more senior
women and minority lawyers. For instance, employment figures for
female partners at law firms modestly improved from 19.54 to
19.91 percent between 2011 and 2012, while numbers for minority
partners rose from 6.56 to 6.71 percent.
NALP is a nonprofit organization that assists law students
and lawyers in legal career counseling.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook