2021 New Partner Report Released

Washington, DC  (November 4, 2021) – Yesterday, during the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance’s Annual Conference, sixty-seven law firms were recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2021 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 ten years. The Report revealed that 42.4 percent of new partners from a Representative Sample of 122 major U.S. law firms in 2021 were women, which represents an increase from last year’s figure of 40.9 percent.

The “Tipping the Scales” firms recognized for having 50% or more women in their 2021 new partner class included:

1. Adams and Reese

2. Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld*

3. Alston & Bird

4. Arnold & Porter*

5. Baker & McKenzie

6. Baker Botts

7. Barnes & Thornburg

8. Beveridge & Diamond*

9. Brown Rudnick

10. Buchalter

11. Buchanan Ingersoll

12. Burr & Forman

13. Cooley*

14. Crowell & Moring*

15. Davis Wright Tremaine*

16. Duane Morris

17. Fenwick & West

18. Fish & Richardson*

19. Foley Hoag

20. Fragomen

21. Gordon Rees

22. Herrick

23. Hinckley Allen*

24. Hollingsworth*

25. Honigman

26. Husch Blackwell

27. Ice Miller

28. Irell

29. Jackson Lewis

30. Jackson Walker

31. Jenner & Block*

32. Lathrop GPM*

33. Littler Mendelson

34. Locke Lord

35. Loeb & Loeb*

36. Manatt, Phelps & Phillips

37. Miles & Stockbridge

38. Miller & Chevalier*

39. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo

40. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius*

41. Munger, Tolles & Olson

42. Norton Rose Fulbright*

43. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart*

44. Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

45. Patterson Belknap

46. Perkins Coie*

47. Phelps Dunbar

48. Procopio Cory

49. Pryor Cashman

50. Quarles & Brady*

51. Reed Smith*

52. Robins Kaplan*

53. Schulte Roth & Zabel

54. Shearman & Sterling

55. Sherman & Howard

56. Shutts & Bowen*

57. Spencer Fane

58. Stoel Rives*

59. Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

60.Thompson Coburn

61. Vinson & Elkins

62. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz

63. Weil, Gotshal & Manges

64. Wiley Rein*

65. Williams Mullen*

66. Willkie Farr & Gallagher

67. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati*

*Diversity & Flexibility Alliance Member Firms

“In a year when record numbers of women have been forced to leave the workforce, gender parity at leadership levels has never been more important,” said Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance. “We are optimistic about this small increase in women in partnership classes in large U.S. law firms and we encourage all organizations to recommit their efforts to recruiting, retaining and advancing women.”

“As organizations emerge from the pandemic and develop their post-pandemic hybrid working initiatives, it’s critical that they de-gender, de-parent and de-stigmatize flexibility, while also recognizing the critical impact that flexibility has on women in particular,” Morales said.  “We applaud our member firms, who have made systematic changes and taken intentional steps towards increasing gender diversity. These efforts have led to quantifiable results as our member firms promoted a higher share of female new partners (41.5%), compared to the overall share of women in this year’s new partner classes (40.9).”

The Alliance has been compiling this data since 2012, when the data revealed that women only made up 33% of new partners.  It is important to note that this year the Alliance expanded the number of law firms included in the report, examining all public data from law firms in the AmLaw 200 (versus only AmLaw100 in previous years), as well as Alliance member law firms.  New partner data was collected from 187 law firms this year versus 137 firms in 2020.  For purposes of comparing data and trends to previous years, a Representative Sample was identified in this year’s report, including firms in the AmLaw100 as well as member firms. When looking at the whole sample of 187 firms in 2021, 40.9 percent of new partners were women.

When looking at the Representative Sample, it’s interesting to note that the gap between the share of new women partners and the share of women associates and summer associates is decreasing.  This year’s 42.4 percent figure of the share of women in the new partner class when looking at a Representative Sample comes closer to the percentages of women associates (gap of 5.1% this year vs. gap of 5.9% in 2020) and women summer associates (gap of 11.2% this year vs. gap of 11.8% in 2020).  However, note that when looking at the whole sample of 187 firms, the gap has widened from last year (6.6% this year vs. 5.9% in 2020, regarding women associates, and 12.7% this year vs 11.8% in 2020, regarding women summer associates).

The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance’s New Partner Report is a yearly compilation of data from more than 100 (187 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, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

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.


Contact: Manar Morales