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John Bair
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The Conversation Continues: More Women Needed in Legal Leadership

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For those who may have missed it, accomplished trial attorney Elizabeth Cabraser recently posted her thoughts about the lack of women in plaintiff leadership roles:

“What is wrong with us? Don’t tell me there is a lack of qualified women who wish to serve as plaintiffs’ advocates.  That excuse holds no merit.  The defense bar has more diversity than we do—their corporate clients demand it.  So why aren’t more of us ‘good guys,’ gals?”

Cabraser’s post echoes sentiments made by many other stakeholders in the legal sphere.  Consider this article from 2011 or this one from 2012; this isn’t a new topic. It seems to have taken on steam within the past year, though, with judges calling for more diversity on legal leadership teams, attorneys like Rob Jenner offering their support, and the creation of initiatives such as Women En Mass.

Though I’ve written about this before, I continue to do what I can to keep the conversation alive because it’s an important one.  Not only is it the right thing to do on a cultural level—we should encourage equal representation from both sexes in legal leadership—but it’s a change that benefits all of us.  As I’ve written in past posts, research has shown that diverse teams get more accomplished than homogenous teams; in fact, much research has shown greater success for those teams that have more women than men.

Cabraser perhaps put it best as she closed with a call to action:

“If you are a female plaintiff attorney, you need to join and participate in organizations that support diversity.  If you are a male plaintiff attorney, you need to understand, at the deepest level, that actively promoting women to roles of equal visibility, influence, and importance is in your own self-interest, because it is in your clients’ best interests.”

 

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