Race and Partnership in BigLaw

29 Nov ’06

The NYT covers recent research into the question of why more African Americans don’t make partner in BigLaw. I was surprised to see no mention in the coverage of whether this is also the case in other BigProfessions – accounting, investment banking and the like – this would have been an interesting data point.

But in any event, what I find most odd about the entire enterprise remains that so many people want to spend so many years working so hard to become – essentially – administrative assistants for the world’s most demanding clients, with very little control over their own destiny, simply to earn money that won’t make them happy, and that certainly won’t be any comfort for the life lost in the process.

As for race, I’m inclined to wonder – it seems to be the case that women bail on partnership because mid-course they decide that the partners are not “people like me” – people who share their values. Could this be relevant to the race issue as well?

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