Center for Women in Law

Convening leaders, generating ideas, leading change.

November 30, 2012

Leader-In-Residence Roberta Liebenberg: At This Rate, Women Will Not Achieve Parity with Male Equity Partners until 2086

Leader-In-Residence Roberta Liebenberg published The Retention and Advancement of Women at Law Firms – Strategies for Success in the 2013 Edition of Best Law Firms by U.S. News. The Retention and Advancement of Women at Law Firms explains the factors that have led to the low number of women occupying powerful positions in law firms. Although women have been graduating from law school at the same rate as men for the past twenty years, the amount of women who work at firms long enough to be considered for a partner position remains low. This is one among many reasons why the percentage of women equity partners at the largest law firms is static at 16 percent. According to recent studies, women will fail to achieve parity with male equity partners until 2086. Roberta outlines both practices that law firms can implement in order to stem the outgoing flow of women lawyers and steps that women lawyers can take in order to further their careers.

Roberta Liebenberg is a senior partner at Fine, Kaplan and Black in Philadelphia, where she focuses her practice on class actions, antitrust, and complex commercial litigation. She is the chair of the ABA Presidential Gender Equity Task Force and a former chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. The first chair of the ABA Commission was Hilary Clinton. Roberta is the recipient of a number of distinguished awards, including the 2008 Sandra Day O’Connor Award by the Philadelphia Bar Association. She is also an elected member of the American Law Institute.