« on: November 11, 2007, 03:00:19 PM »
I somewhat agree, and was extremely irked that when I asked about advancement opportunities for women, I received chatter about part-time. I do not wish to work part-time!!! I want to know that they're addressing the large inequality between male and female associates.
And this is where I differ from your assumption that it's a pure meritocracy. The 17% figure isn't due just to the fact that some women choose to leave the profession to have families; it's also due to historical discrimination against women. Read, for instance, about Justice Ginsburg's and Justice O'Connor's experiences trying to get a job out of law school.
Fortunately for out generation, things have vastly improved, and open discrimination is no longer allowed. However, you can hardly assume that a legal change will drastically alter people's attitudes, and certainly not immediately.
At this point, I've been to a lot of big NY firms to interview and to numerous other receptions. There were certain firms that felt like "old boys' clubs." At one reception, a partner answered my questions to the guy standing next to me. At another, a lawyer asked one of my male friends where the strip clubs where in our city. Another lawyer made derogatory jokes about his wife. Making partner is as much about the ability to build social networks as it is about legal acumen, and it's no wonder than women are disadvantaged in such environments.