Focus Group Uncovers Why Women Leave the Law

aba abf focus group studyToday is International Women’s Day, a globally-recognized day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. 

It’s no secret that women and minorities are not equally represented in leadership roles throughout the legal profession. Even with more women entering law school than men, the numbers just don’t match up. So this year, several organizations are taking action. 

This March and April, the American Bar Association (ABA) and the American Bar Foundation (ABF) are joining forces on a research project through the organization of a focus group. The ABA and ABF will host several focus groups as part of the ABA Presidential Initiative entitled “Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law.” The goal of the project is to better understand the unique career dynamics facing lawyers, identifying the reasons that foster or impede their careers in the law. Through each focus group, the ABA and the ABF hopes to find answers, uncovering why men and women leave the profession.

Each focus group will consist of both women and men who received their JDs between 1982 and 2002 who have practiced law for 15 or more years. Participants will include those actively practicing law in firms or in-house, and those no longer practicing law.   

Every upcoming focus group is scheduled to take place in several major cities across the United States over the next few weeks. The dates and locations of the focus groups are as follows: 

New York, NY: March 6 and 7 

Washington, DC: March 8 

Miami, FL: March 16 

Chicago, IL: March 19 and 20; April 5 and 6 

San Francisco, CA: March 22 and 23 

Houston, TX: March 26 and 27 

If you are interested in participating in this research, know individuals who might be interested in participating, or you would like additional information about this study, please contact Caroline Tipler, Research Social Scientist at the American Bar Foundation, at ctipler@abfn.org. 

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