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Reasons Why Women in BigLaw Should Be Thankful + Other News

Vivia Chen

December 20, 2017

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1. Ladies, have you hugged your managing partner today?
To those of you who think I have nothing nice to say about Big Law, listen up: The sexism in law firms is far more palatable than what goes on in the TV and movie industries or the judiciary (see Alex Kozinski). As creepy as some male lawyers might be (there’s at least one major lech in every office), they are Cub Scouts compared to the antics of media stars like Matt Lauer (right), Louis C.K., Charlie Rose, Bill O’Reilly and Kevin Spacey (I’m sure the list has grown longer by the time you read this).

The worse that usually happens in Big Law is that some partner gives you an unsolicited, prolonged kiss at a closing dinner or grabs your waist a bit too tight at a photo-op. More often than not, he’s probably just leering at you (I know, it’s still creepy).

As far as I know, no partner at a major firm is in the habit of exposing himself or pleasuring himself in front of women. I don’t know if male lawyers have better moral compasses or are more fearful of legal consequences, but I think we ladies should be thankful that they keep their pants on in the office and their hands to themselves. Those little things count.

2. Almost every BigLaw firm is on this list, except for You-Know-Who! Count them: 160 law firms made it to Human Rights Commission's index for promoting LGBTQ workplace equality. Of those, 127 firms got perfect 100-point scores—which is pretty damn impressive.

This year, the intriguing question isn't which firms are on the list but which ones aren't. One firm jumped out for its absence and that's—yes, you guessed it! Jones Day!

That can't be shocking, considering that some Jones Day's alums are active in championing anti-LGBTQ measures for the Trump administration. Some have staked out high-profile anti-gay positions, like siding with the Colorado baker who's refusing to make wedding cakes for gay marriages, or arguing that employers have the right to fire people for sexual orientation.

To be fair, Jones Day is not the only AmLaw 100 not on HRC's gay-friendly list. There are a few more that are conspicuously absent:

Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Cozen O'Connor

Jackson Lewis

Jones Day

Lewis Brisbois


Williams & Connolly

I have no reason to believe that these firms are hostile to LGBTQ lawyers. For whatever reason, they probably didn't bother to fill out the HRC survey. Maybe they knew their LGBTQ policies aren't up to snuff. Or maybe they just don't care. Or maybe their PR/marketing person forgot.

3Talking about the obvious. Our sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer posed this question: "Why Millennial Lawyers Aren't Flocking to Top Pa. Cities." 

I won't get into the fine analysis except to ask this: Is this really a mystery that merits exploration? Sorry to be a New York snob, but have you been to Philadelphia? It's B-O-R-I-N-G!

If you're in your 20's and the world is your oyster, you're not going to head to Pennsylvania. Actually, if you're in 40's or 50's or 60's, you won't want to go there either. 




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About The Careerist

The Careerist takes an inside look at how lawyers shape their careers and manage their lives. The blog aims to dissect developments in the profession, provide useful information and advice, and give lawyers a platform to voice their views. The goal is to provide a fresh, provocative take on the state of lawyering.

About Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen

Vivia Chen, The Careerist's chief blogger, has been covering the business and culture of law firms for a decade. A former corporate lawyer, Chen is fascinated by those who thrive (as well as those who don't) in the legal profession. Her take: Success in the law (and life) doesn't always travel a linear path. If you have topics you'd like to discuss or information to share, contact her: VChen@alm.com

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