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Minority Women Least Content at Biglaw

The most striking finding of the Minority Experience Study published today by The Minority Law Journal and reported by D.M. Osborne on Law.com is that Biglaw satisfaction among midlevel associates correlates more to gender than race. "The gaps in scores were small, and all groups were generally positive about their firms," Osborne writes. "Still, the score differences added up to a consistent pattern that showed women of color experiencing less satisfaction and more obstacles at large firms than their peers, including men of color."

When these midlevel associates were asked where they expect to be in five years, nearly equal numbers of minority and white males (14.8 percent and 14.9 percent) answered that they expected to be equity partners at their current firms. By contrast, 9.4 percent of minority females expected to be equity partners and even fewer white females, 7.9 percent. Minority females were more likely than anyone else to see themselves as becoming corporate counsel or public service lawyers, while nearly 40 percent said they had no idea where they would be. Minority women were also more likely than anyone else to be actively seeking a new job and to regret having taken their current job. Notably, minority males expressed the lowest level of regret over their current jobs, with just six percent of minority males versus 11.6 percent of minority females saying they would not, in hindsight, take their current job.

While women of all races shared dissatisfaction, Osborne notes, the responses from minority women were consistently more negative than those of white women. As a black partner at an Atlanta firm puts it, "It does seem that the combination of being a racial minority and being a woman creates a double layer of difference that's a huge component in a midlevel attorney's experience."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 7, 2007 at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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