Women Lawyers Leaving Profession In Record Numbers

Industry: Legal Services

New Book, "Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law", helps women lawyers achieve balance and avoid pitfalls that derail many women’s law careers.

East Coast (PRUnderground) September 27th, 2011

Susan Smith Blakely, 25-year veteran of the law, provides some startling statistics in her book, “Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law.”(http://www.bestfriendsatthebar.com). Did you know that:

  • 46% of women lawyers in America leave the profession mid-career and do not return to practice
  • 76% of women law graduates who join large law firms leave within the first five years
  • 15% of equity partners in law firms are women; 18% for One-Tier Partnership firms
  • It costs a law firm $200K to $500k to lose an associate in the first 3 years
  • Part-time women lawyers are very vulnerable to involuntary termination and lose opportunity to advance to partnership
  • Six times as many men become partners as women
  • Twice as many women depart firms for work-life issues than men

In the book, Susan Smith Blakely touches upon the issues that many women lawyers face that lead to dissatisfaction and eventually an exit from the profession. What is prompting women to leave the profession? What can law firms do to retain women lawyers? How can women achieve a work/life balance and remain active and successful in their law careers? After a successful 25-year career in the law, Susan is well-equipped to answer these questions. She’s also done extensive research for the book — with contributions from prominent women lawyers and judges. In the book, Susan also dispels the myths related to women in the law (hint: it’s nothing like Ally McBeal).

Susan’s research and the valuable information in the book would be valuable not only to women lawyers but to career women everywhere particularly now as more women need to retain their jobs in this challenging economy. The topics also will resonate with women who are trying to find the balance between career, family and dealing with work place issues that continue to favor men.

About the Author

Susan Blakely graduated from the University of Wisconsin and Georgetown University Law Center. As a practitioner with 25 years of experience in both private law firms and the public sector, Blakely has viewed the legal profession from many perspectives – as an associate, counsel and partner; and as a chief of staff in the public sector. At every step along the way, Blakely has mentored and continues to mentor young lawyers. The author shares more information about the book and her career at her web site and on her blog. Visit http://www.bestfriendsatthebar.com/ to learn more.

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