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in New Partner Classes

46 Law Firms Recognized for “Tipping the Scales” Towards Gender Parity in New Partner Classes

November 9, 2020

Yesterday, during the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance’s Annual Conference, forty-six law firms were recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2020 U.S.-based new partner classes.  The firms, recognized as “Tipping the Scales,” were identified through the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s New Partner Report, a compilation of public data released each year for the past nine years. The Report revealed that 40.9 percent of new partners in 137 major U.S. law firms in 2020 were women. This figure is a slight dip from the previous mark of 41.3 percent last year.

The “Tipping the Scales” firms recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2020 new partner class included:

1. Arent Fox

2. Arnold & Porter

3. Boies Schiller Flexner

4. Bryan Cave Leighton


5. Cahill Gordon & Reindel

6. Cooley

7. Covington & Burling

8. Crowell & Moring

9. Davis Wright Tremaine

10. Dechert

11. Epstein Becker & Green

12. Foley & Lardner

13. Foley Hoag

14. Gibbons

15. Hodgson Russ

16. Hogan Lovells

17. Husch Blackwell

18. Jackson Lewis

19. Jones Day

20. Kramer Levin Naftalis

       & Frankel

21. Kutak Rock

22. Lathrop GPM

23. Littler Mendelson

24. Miles & Stockbridge

25. Miller & Chevalier

26. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

27. Morrison & Foerster

28. Nixon Peabody

29. O’Melveny & Myers

30. Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw


31. Quarles & Brady

32. Ropes & Gray

33. Seyfarth Shaw

34. Shook, Hardy & Bacon

35. Skadden, Arps, Slate,

      Meagher & Flom

36. Steptoe

37. Thompson & Knight

38. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen

       & Katz

39. Weil, Gotshal & Manges

40. White & Case

41. Wiley Rein

42. Wilkinson Barker Knauer

43. Williams & Connolly

44. WilmerHale

45. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich

       & Rosati

46. Womble Bond Dickinson

“By promoting equal numbers of men and women to partner, these firms have signaled their commitment to gender parity and their understanding of the value that women in leadership brings to their firm and clients,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “While this year’s results are similar to last year’s numbers, it is concerning that the percentage of women advancing to partnership has dropped slightly. This data, combined with the recent studies showing that women will be forced to leave the workforce due to the COVID 19 pandemic, could signal a significant step backwards in the efforts to achieve gender parity.”

“I recommend that all organizations commit to an intentional gender diversity strategy that includes important systemic changes,” Morales said.  “We applaud our member firms, many of whom took these intentional steps towards increasing gender diversity, leading to quantifiable results as our member firms promoted a substantially higher share of female new partners (43%), compared to the overall share of women in this year’s new partner classes (40.9%),” she added. 

The Alliance has been compiling this data and releasing this report for nine years.  While this year represents an increase of 7.7 percentage points since 2012, it represents a slight dip from last year of 0.4 percentage points and is only the second time over the last nine years when there was a year over year drop (2013 to 2014 was the only other time the figure dropped).  The 2020 New Partner Report also found that the gap between the share of new women partners and the share of women associates has widened. This year, the difference between the share of women partners and women associates was 5.9%, whereas in 2019 it was 4.6%.  

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s New Partner Report is a yearly compilation of data from more than 100 (137 this year) of the nation’s largest and top-grossing law firms examining the gender breakdown of attorneys promoted to partnership in their U.S. offices.  The data is based upon publicly available firm announcements and other self-reported sources on new partner classes with an effective date of promotion between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020.

The Diversity and Flexibility Alliance is a think tank that collaborates with organizations to develop non-stigmatized flexible work policies that promote inclusive work cultures and help to advance more women into leadership positions. The Alliance provides practical research-based solutions, training workshops, and strategic advisory services that increase organizational effectiveness through diversity and flexibility.