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On the Record

The Daily Record's law news blog

Study examines why senior women attorneys leave the profession

A recent study across the largest law firms across the country found that female attorneys face unique challenges in the profession, a fact particularly evident among those who have been practicing for more than 20 years, the ABA Journal reported.

Preliminary results from a survey of 1,300 respondents from the nation’s 350 largest firms by the American Bar Association and ALM Intelligence highlights several challenges and stereotypes senior women attorneys face, including:

  • 81 percent of women say they were mistaken for a lower-level employee but this didn’t happen to men.
  • 60 percent of women said they’d left firms because of care-taking commitments, compared to 46 percent of men.
  • 54 percent of women said they were responsible for arranging child care, compared to 1 percent of men.
  • 39 percent of women said they were responsible for cooking, compared to 11 percent of men.
  • 34 percent of women say they leave work for children’s needs, versus 5 percent of men.

Despite those challenges, the study also found that men and women have similar job satisfaction with respect to practicing law, suggesting women don’t want to leave the profession but are forced out.

The full report, which will be released in September, was discussed during a panel on career longevity for women at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago last week.

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