Only in the twisted hierarchical legal profession would an increase in the number of women as counsel and staff lawyers be viewed as cause for celebration. Yet according to this Law 360 article, “industry experts are applauding the fact that 40 percent of non-partner and associate roles at law firms are now occupied by women – since it reflects an overall advancements in the number of women in big law ranks.
Yet outside of big law, women are thriving. In the month since February 2015 when the National Association of Legal Placement released its report on women at law firms, I came across four stories featuring women solos and startups. These include:
Amy Everhart, a Nashville solo who focuses on entertainment law and a single mom, featured in Nashville Style Blueprint;
Elizabeth Porter, A Hattiesburg Mississippi solo with her own private practice who also serves as the chief public defender for Forrest County, as reported in the Hattiesburg American;
Bellanora McCallum,who returned home to Rockingham, North Carolina after stints in Charlotte, to start a hometown practice that’s featured in The Daily Journal.
Teresa Alcaron, Katherine “Kacey” McBroom, and Nannina Angioni, a trio of Los Angeles attorneys who opend their own shop focusing on state and federal litigation and mediation, from Westside Today.
I realize that in today’s economy, snagging a job at a staff attorney isn’t anything to look down on: steady pay, great benefits, relatively challenging work. But is that really why you went to law school? If it’s not, why settle for the bottom of big law when you can be boss at your own firm?