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New Partners 2013: Women make strides in partner ranks

Melissa Meinzer//February 11, 2013//

New Partners 2013: Women make strides in partner ranks

Melissa Meinzer//February 11, 2013//

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The percentage of female new partners at the state’s largest law firms grew again. At 37 percent, though, it still lags behind the number of women coming into the profession — nearly half of law school graduates.

A review of new partners that MOney 20 firms reported to Missouri Lawyers Weekly finds this year women make up 37 percent of newly promoted partners. Of the 68 new partners at the highest-grossing firms, 25 were women.

Women fared better when the calculations were extended to all 31 firms that reported new partners, with the number of women promoted to partner reaching 43 percent, or 40 of the 93 new partners overall.

A year ago, 24 percent of new partners at the highest-grossing firms were women. The year before that, it was 31 percent.

Husch Blackwell and Polsinelli Shughart promoted the most women to partner recently, with four each. For Husch, that was half of the new partners, while it was a quarter of Polsinelli’s 16 new partners.

At three top firms, more women than men were promoted to partner: three women and one man at Lathrop & Gage; three women and two men at Armstrong Teasdale; and two women and one man at Carmody MacDonald.

According to this year’s survey of  Missouri’s top firms, four promoted no women to partner: Stinson Morrison Hecker promoted three men; Lewis Rice & Fingersh promoted four; Spencer Fane Britt & Browne promoted one; and Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard promoted two.

Bryan Cave, the state’s highest-grossing firm, did not promote any women to partner in last year’s report, but now one of its four new Missouri partners is female. The second largest firm, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, promoted no women last time, but two of its five new partners this year are women.

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