Shifts In Mindset, Metrics Foster Advancement Among Women Lawyers


It is by now an all-too-familiar statistic to many women lawyers: in 2012, 45 percent of associates entering AmLaw 200 firms were women, but women only made up 15 percent of those firms’ equity partners, according to the National Association of Women Lawyers.

This leadership disparity prodded discussion within the legal field on why the gender gap exists and what lawyers and firms can do to close it.

The Colorado Women’s Bar Association is looking to give women lawyers the tools to make themselves more promotable and, at the same time, shift BigLaw culture to recognize areas where women lawyers might typically excel. The CWBA sponsored two workshops this month dealing with these topics.

Growth-focused mindset

The March 5 workshop, “The Grit Project: Using Grit & Growth Mindset To Advance Women In Law,” which was hosted by Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, looked at common traits among successful women lawyers. It gathered a panel that included Wheeler Trigg partner Katie Reilly, Denver County Court Judge Olympia Fay, solo practitioner Patricia Jarzobski and CWBA president Allison Zinn. Reilly introduced the concepts of grit and the growth mindset in the legal profession, and she and the panelists explained how they applied some of the same concepts to succeed in their legal careers.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the March 23, 2015 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.