Big law firms have major gender equality problem, says chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp

Author: Scott Flaherty, American Lawyer, Published on: 19 May 2017

"Can Litigation Solve Big Law's Gender Equity Problem?", 18 May 2017 [Subscription required]

Big Law has a major gender equality problem, according to David Sanford, the chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp...

His firm is taking action to address the disparities he sees—it currently represents about a dozen woman partners¬, and it is pursuing bias claims against at least five firms in cases that are not yet public. He's also handled many cases that ended in confidential settlements¬¬—deals that when added together, he says, enabled female partners to recover tens of millions of dollars.

"...I think it's also fair to say that the legal industry has a problem as an industry. The numbers aren't good across the country in Big Law."...

When it comes to large law firms, he added, gender disparities tend to heighten as lawyers move up the ranks...

But higher up the chain, employment conditions for lawyers often depend heavily on decisions made at the top of the firm..."And that discretion is typically administered by males."

[Also refers to Chadbourne & Parke, Proskauer Rose, Sedgwick]

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