Gender Analytics: Using Litigation Data to Evaluate Law Firm Diversity  

 Guest Post by By Michael Sander,[1] Tara Klamrowski, and Rachel Sander

Legal analytics can now identify law firms committed to gender diversity by analyzing the gender of attorney appearances. Docket Alarm has done so for the United States Supreme Court and specialized patent courts. The lack of gender diversity is significant, especially in patent cases. Here we highlight firms breaking the mold.

More women are entering the legal profession than ever —women now make up about half of all law students and 36% of all licensed attorneys— but these ratios are not reflected at the highest levels of firm positions. Judges anecdotally report that women rarely act as lead counsel in litigation, and the percentage of female partners at firms hovers around 22%.

Corporate clients are aware of the gender imbalance and actively seek out firms that reflect their own commitment to gender diversity. Clients now regularly request firm diversity statistics as part of law firm pitches, putting pressure on firms to support female attorneys at the highest ranks.

Law firms typically measure diversity by tracking headcount; the number of male and female associates and partners in their ranks. These metrics can ignore the often more meaningful metric of how often female attorneys actually appear in court-room litigation.

How Legal Analytics Can Help Quantify Firm Diversity

Modern legal analytics can play an important role in increasing transparency in law firm gender diversity. Traditional legal analytics show how often parties or law firms win cases, or the likelihood of winning legal relief in front of a particular judge. However, they can also be used to rank and analyze more general litigation trends, including gender diversity.

To identify firms with the most balanced male-female attorney ratio, Docket Alarm scours the litigation record, looking at the names of attorneys and their law firm. The gender of each attorney in a case is identified based on the attorney’s first name and other factors.[2]

The result is that we can now measure firm gender diversity based on attorneys actually staffed on cases, i.e., those that most substantively participate in litigation, not just by firm head-count.

Gender Analytics in the Patent Trial and Appeal Board AIA Trials

The analysis began with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”), a specialized court focused on patent validity. The analysis shows that patent litigation is dominated by male attorneys. Of the top 100 law firms, 55 have less than 10% female attorneys on cases, and 8 firms have never had a single female attorney work on their PTAB AIA-Trial cases. On average, attorney appearances are only 12% female. When representing patent owners, the percentage of female attorneys drops further to 9.8%.

However, some firms buck the trend. According to Docket Alarm’s statistics, the firms with the highest ratios of female attorneys working on PTAB patent cases are as follows:

Rank Firm Percentage Female
1 Osha Liang 72%
2 Goodwin Proctor 48%
3 Crowell & Moring 47.3%
4 McCarter English 46.7%
5 Arnold & Porter 42%

The “percentage female” here is calculated by dividing the number of female attorney appearances by the number of male and female attorney appearances for each firm.

Other runners up that have at least 25% of their AIA-Trial representations staffed by female attorneys include: Kasha Law; Covington & Burling; Mayer Brown; Drinker Biddle & Reath; Ascenda Law Group; Keker & Van Nest; Ropes & Gray; WilmerHale; and Venable.

The firms listed above, either by chance or design, have far more female attorneys working on cases than the average firm.

PTABGenderDiversity

Fig. 1: Screenshot of Docket Alarm’s Gender Diversity Statistics in the PTAB

 Gender Analytics in the U.S. Supreme Court

Compared to patent law, the male-female gap in Supreme Court practice is less severe, but by no means diverse. For the Supreme Court, Docket Alarm examined petitions for certiorari, analyzing the gender of the attorneys representing certiorari petitioners and respondents. Only two private law firms have half of their attorney appearances staffed by female attorneys, and only 7 have more than 25%. They are as follows:[3]

Rank Firm Percentage Female
1 Dykema Gossett 75%
2 Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan 57%
3 Arnold & Porter 35%
4 Morgan, Lewis & Bockius 32.3%
5 Littler Mendelson 32.2%
6 Latham & Watkins 30.0%
7 Hogan Lovells 29.9%

In the rarefied world of Supreme Court practice, having just one or two top female attorneys on the team can make the firm a leader in gender diversity. Jill Wheaton leads Dykema’s Supreme Court practice. At Quinn Emanuel, it is Kathleen Sullivan and Sheila Birnbaum. Similarly, Deanne Maynard and Beth Brinkmann take the majority of cases at MoFo. These firms can attribute their strong diversity numbers to just a few highly specialized attorneys.

Win Rates and Gender Diversity

In addition to identifying the most gender diverse law firms, Docket Alarm’s analytics also show how case success rates are related to gender diverse firms. Docket Alarm found no statistically significant correlation between gender diversity and a firm’s win rate in the PTAB.[4]

PTABGenderDiversityWinRate

Fig. 2: Petitioner Win Rates Plotted Against Gender Diversity in the PTAB

The Future of Diversity Analytics

Now that gender diversity is becoming part of the law firm sales pitch to clients, there is demand to identify firms committed to gender diversity, and for law firms to track diversity recruitment efforts.

Analytics can also identify gender diversity of a particular client’s legal team across law firms. This metric can help clients identify the progress of diversity efforts.

Analytics are leading the way for a new look at diversity in law, one that relies on actual client representation, and not just firm head-count. The initial statistics are not encouraging, especially in patent law, but they highlight firms that are making progress, and provide a baseline to measure future progress for everyone else.

= = = = =

[1] Michael Sander is the founder of Docket Alarm (https://www.docketalarm.com).

[2] Attorneys where the gender cannot be determined due to a gender-neutral first name are not included in the statistics so as to not skew the results one way or another.

[3] The analysis did not consider firms that made fewer than 30 appearances as either a petitioner or respondent in petitions for certiorari since 2000. In an effort to home in on private civil litigation, the analysis disregarded cases filed forma pauperis.

[4] The methodology used a bivariate linear regression model. From a sample of the most active 100 law firms, gender diversity (measured as a percentage of female attorneys at the firm) was regressed on both petition institution as well as claim cancelation. The analysis was run separately for firms representing petitioners and patent owners.

71 thoughts on “Gender Analytics: Using Litigation Data to Evaluate Law Firm Diversity  

  1. Nobody should have to wear a tie in court.

    1. (A) You are wrong. Pure, unalloyedly wrong. Everyone should have to wear a tie in court. As the Dothraki might say, this is known. :)

      (B) My wife comes from a certain tropical, former British colony, where the attorneys have to wear black robes and horsehair wigs in court (without air-conditioning in most cases). I count myself lucky that we only have to wear suits in this country.

  2. Could anyone tell me how a litigation cases report can help a patent attorney??

  3. Women and men are equally capable of patent lawyering. Don’t give either one any advantages over the other.
    Let’s change the subject.

    1. Women and men are equally capable of patent lawyering. Don’t give either one any advantages over the other.

      Agreed.

      Let’s change the subject.

      Kind of hard to do on a thread explicitly devoted to this subject. If the discussion is not to your tastes, perhaps you will want to read another thread.

  4. With any wisdom or experience in life, one soon realizes that gender ain’t really in the pants. We have broad agreement about what the traditional sex roles are, and that it’s morally wrong to prejudge people based on their cis gender. The only people not on board are the American Taliban.

    1. Actually, and to be perfectly blunt (as well as to be perfectly correct), gender is ONLY “really in the pants.”

      Avoid the PC-ness about s3x roles and realize that the factual nature of gender is much simpler.

  5. 1 Osha Liang 72%
    2 Goodwin Proctor 48%
    3 Crowell & Moring 47.3%
    4 McCarter English 46.7%
    5 Arnold & Porter 42%

    Congrats to these firms. Any of us who have worked with a substantial number of female attorneys over the years knows that they have what it takes, and then some.

    link to youtu.be

  6. Docket Alarm found no statistically significant correlation between gender diversity and a firm’s win rate in the PTAB. … The methodology used a bivariate linear regression model. From a sample of the most active 100 law firms

    …a sample set that is resoundingly skewed toward 0-20% female representation, with only a handful of data points at or above 50% representation.

    Why only 100 firms? Is there a notable drop off in PTAB activity at that point? Given the extreme skew in the dataset, one would want as large a sample as possible.

    What methods were used to control for confounds? Off the top of my head I would want to consider firm size, opponent firm size, client size, opponent client size, attorney experience, opponent attorney experience, and the overall win-rate in the relevant technology.

    As someone who teaches a class on Technology and Legal Practice I would be inclined to use this as a cautionary example of a black box legal analytics product. What little data and methodology you have given to support your conclusion suggests that the conclusion cannot be relied on.

    1. What little data and methodology you have given to support your conclusion suggests that the conclusion cannot be relied on.

      Hm, this seems wrong to me. I grant you that limiting their analysis to the top 100 firms in PTAB practice is possibly an unduly limited sample (that is an empirical question, to which I have no answer), but if we simply amend their claim slightly to read “no statistically significant correlation between gender diversity and a firm’s win rate in the PTAB among the most active 100 law firms for AIA trial practice,” the claim becomes solid enough.

      I grant you that the various confounding factors that you mention are all interesting in their own right, but none of them really detract from the accuracy of the conclusion given. That is to say, we can now purport to know (on the basis of this study), that there is no statistically significant correlation between gender and trial success in this sample group.

      If, as you say, one were to pose the question against a sample including only trials involving firms of 200+ attorneys, or against a sample including only attorneys with 10+ years of experience, and one were to find a statistically significant correlation in these queries, that might be an interesting result in its own right. On the other hand, such results might merely be (so-called) “P hacking.” One way or the other, however, I do not see how such conclusions would take away from the accuracy of the broader conclusion about no statistically significant correlation in the broader data set of AIA trials involving the 100 most active firms.

      1. Confounding absolutely affects ANY conclusion.

        Your “this seems wrong” is itself very wrong.

        Even taking your known Liberal Left tendencies into account, Greg, the wanton dismissal that you attempt is simply egregious.

        1. Confounding absolutely affects ANY conclusion.

          Possibly. How so? I would be glad to be shown my error if I am mistaken here.

          Even taking your known Liberal Left tendencies into account…

          This is just folderol and nonsense. A lefty would have been tickled pink (pun intended) if there had been a statistically significant correlation between more women on the team and victory in front of the PTAB. A finding of no meaningful correlation is a bit of a let down to the left.

          The fact that I am inclined to agree with the OP’s conclusions is something done despite my (alleged) “Liberal Left tendencies,” not because of them.

            1. (and it is NOT any such “tendency to agree” that I am drawing attention to, but rather the noise you are making about the confounding issue)

              1. [I]t is NOT any such “tendency to agree” that I am drawing attention to…

                Er, really? Did I merely hallucinate when I read words under your caption to the effect “Even taking your known Liberal Left tendencies into account…”? That sure looks like drawing attention to such tendencies.

                You might want to pause a moment, re-read your writings, and reconsider what point you wish to make before hitting “post.” You are evidently working at cross purposes to yourself in advancing arguments (or at least gratuitous swipes) that you do not mean to advance.

                1. your Liberal Left tendencies are in relation to your noise about the confounding issue as opposed to any “agreement”

                  Do I really need to hold your hand for that difference?

                  YES – you have your Liberal Left tendencies.
                  They are the cause of your current noise.
                  That current noise is the noise you are generating about confounding (as if the meaning alone of that word is not understandable when it comes to your statement of “but none of them really detract from the accuracy of the conclusion given

                  You want to act as if things confounded just don’t matter.

                  They just do.

            2. Yes, I do know what confounding means, I also know that speaking of “confounders” only makes sense if one is critiquing an assertion of causation. The observation that there are possible confounding variables is simply irrelevant to an assertion of correlation, which is the only sort of assertion that the Docket Alarm team advances above.

              1. Not even close.

                YOU made an assertion regarding confounding and conclusions drawn.

                Your assertion was baseless.

                It’s that simple.

                1. YOU made an assertion regarding confounding and conclusions drawn.

                  Correct. I did make such an assertion. One can, as they say, look it up (it is just a few lines above this post). I wrote “I do not see how such conclusions would take away from the accuracy of the broader conclusion about no statistically significant correlation in the broader data set of AIA trials involving the 100 most active firms.” I stand by that assertion. At the risk of exposing myself to be dense as a lead brick, I still do not see where that assertion is supposedly incorrect.

                  Confounders only come into it when one is making a causality assertion. Confounders simply do not affect the accuracy vel non of a correlation assertion. Given that I was endorsing the accuracy of the Docket Alarm’s statement about correlation (not causation), I still do not see what the mention of confounders is supposed to prove.

      2. One way or the other, however, I do not see how such conclusions would take away from the accuracy of the broader conclusion about no statistically significant correlation in the broader data set of AIA trials involving the 100 most active firms.

        The point is that without a more accurate model the conclusion is practically meaningless even if it is strictly statistically correct. The model assumes that the only substantive difference between these firms is their female participation rate. I highly doubt that is the case.

        So yes, the conclusion may be accurate as far it goes, but the authors have shown no reason to believe that it has any practical significance. It’s not even clear whether the correct conclusion is “we did not find a statistically significant correlation” or “we found that there is no statistically significant correlation.” They don’t address whether their study had sufficient statistical power to make the latter claim.

        1. They don’t address whether their study had sufficient statistical power to make the latter claim.

          Good point. It would be interesting if some one from the author team would address this point.

          [T]he conclusion may be accurate as far it goes, but the authors have shown no reason to believe that it has any practical significance.

          This seems correct to me. The claim being advanced is probably true (with the caveat about power that you note above), but is fairly small beer, in any event.

    2. James Daily the leftist thinks there simply must be a bump in the win rate if only they can get grls to do the work! Because grl powaz!

      lulz. Mr. Daily is totally not se xist against mans I’m sure.

  7. So much sexism in this post I don’t know where to begin. Dennis should be ashamed to host it.

  8. AIA Trials Group

    1. Osha Liang 72%
    2. Goodwin Proctor 48%
    3. Crowell & Moring 47.3%

    That is a big jump between the #1 & #2 positions, but hardly any change at all between #2 & #3 (after #3 is also a series of very slight steps down). Is Osha Liang’s AIA trials group very small, such that it is subject to the statistical vagaries of small group calculations? Why such an outlier, relative to the consistent cluster among the next four largest groups?

    1. Sexism has various forms. Osha Liang is blatantly ripe for a sexitime discrimination lawlsuit.

      1. Wait a minute. We know nothing more about Osha Liang at this point other than the fact that it has a 72% participation of women attorneys in its PTAB trial practice. A 72% participation of women means a 28% participation of men.

        Do you mean to say that the mere observation of 28% participation of one group is prima facie evidence of discrimination against that group? There are going to be a lot of employment discrimination suits flying soon if that is to be the standard.

        1. There are going to be a lot of employment discrimination suits flying soon if that is to be the standard.

          You can already hear the growing cries of all those super highly qualified white male attorneys who are unemployed only because (wait for it!) law firms are hiring too many women and brown people.

          Those white boys are very very important! They created everything. We all owe them. So they tell us over and over again. Meanwhile they scurry around trying to make everyone else miserable because, hey, that’s all they know how to do, really.

            1. (In case you needed to be reminded – again – showing one item to be incorrect is NOT the same as defending some view at the opposite end of the spectrum.

              That is a rather Trump-like “logic” to try to employ.

              ALL that is going on – with the pointing out that the statistics are not proper – is that the statistics are not proper.

              Your immediate attempt to demonize any comment and any one who comments against your own perceived desired Ends is a rather extreme form of a lack of critical thinking.

          1. “You can already hear the growing cries of all those super highly qualified white male attorneys who are unemployed only because (wait for it!) law firms are hiring too many women and brown people.”

            Remember there are people posting here who think affirmative action is “the same ev!l” as slavery and Jim Crow.

            1. Remember there are people posting here who think affirmative action is “the same ev!l” as slavery and Jim Crow.

              It is.

              Sure, the degree may change, but the kind is very much identical.

        2. “Wait a minute. We know nothing more about Osha Liang at this point other than the fact that it has a 72% participation of women attorneys in its PTAB trial practice. A 72% participation of women means a 28% participation of men.”

          Unless Osha Liang stumbled upon a mythical land of female patent attorneys known only to them to hire on to their team that other firms haven’t been able to find in their mad rush to hire female attorneys (there are plenty of firms rushing to do so as good little leftists, or people catering thereto, and have been doing so for decades) and not many mans were applying to them then something odd is going on there. Or perhaps it is a fluke and the number will come down in the coming years. But that large of a difference is rather odd. The simplest explanation is of course simply a se xist leftist HR manager or hiring partner(s) at the firm.

          “Do you mean to say that the mere observation of 28% participation of one group is prima facie evidence of discrimination against that group?”

          No, I’m saying that in an environment where there are plenty of people trying to hire women on like mad if there is one firm that somehow magically managed to scoop that many up, compared to all the other people failing to scope as many up, it raises a concern. Especially considering the gynocentric societal tendency to dismiss anti-male se xism. Any evidence as to whether or not they had plenty of male applicants dismissed out of hand etc. is not yet before us, but it could be found I’d wager if some young male attorney wants to push back. And then we’d get to see whether or not plenty of perfectly qualified males did in fact apply and were turned away.

          But at least now I know why there’s so many attorney looking women at the starbucks right nearby, I’ll bet they’re mostly from Osha. I’m going to ask some about their work.

  9. Welcome the world of quotas!

    1. Translation: “Women frighten me.”

      1. There is ZERO indication of “fright” in the comment about quotas.

        Are you projecting?

        1. There is ZERO indication of “fright” in the comment about quotas.

          ROTFLMAO

      2. Um no, leftism “frightens him”. And it will be destroyed.

    2. Brother anon – often PC is a mindless Liberal Left construct.

      Discrimination based on s3x may well be real and “good old boy” networks should be engaged with the view that the best for the firm is to include the best of many different viewpoints (and not solely one view of any particular viewpoint based on any particular ISM).

      What quotas are are nothing more than a form of ISM in and of themselves.

      1. What quotas are are nothing more than a form of ISM in and of themselves.

        What does this mean? As in, literally, I am unable to discern a substantive content in this remark. What do you mean to convey here?

        1. Your lack of ability to discern something (especially here) is merely a reflection of your lack of ability.

          Do you REALLY need to have it explained to you that filling a job based on a quota (using a singular item as the discerning reference point) is every bit a form of ISM as to which the “need for quota” is meant to address?

          1. Your lack of ability to discern something (especially here) is merely a reflection of your lack of ability.

            Quite possibly.

            … filling a job based on a quota (using a singular item as the discerning reference point)…

            This looks like a straw man to me, but I am prepared to be proven wrong if you can cite some source about an actual firm that is making its hiring decisions based on only one item as a discerning reference point.

            … is every bit a form of ISM…

            And now we get to the nub of my question. What does this mean? It looks like words about words from where I am standing. What is the objective content that is meant to be conveyed here?

            1. Obtuse. Is it deliberate?

              (baby steps, then)

              Why is it proposed that things like quotas are put in place?

              Do you understand that a quota IS a one-dimensional type of discerning reference point? (and NO – this is most definitely not a strawman – this goes directly to the point being discussed. You might want to check your understanding of strawman).

              Do you understand that the discrimination does not “care” for the reason for discrimination?

              After these baby steps, remind yourself of our past discussions on the fallacy of “White Privilege” and the PC attempts to foster that “guilt” trip in order to “justify” the very type of behavior for which the Liberal Left is upset about (i.e., discrimination).

              None of this is new or difficult to understand.

              You cannot fight discrimination be applying discrimination – no matter what type of “justification” you want to come up with.

              You cannot fight an e vil be being THAT e vil.

              1. Do you understand that a quota IS a one-dimensional type of discerning reference point?

                Is it? I confess that I do not understand that at all. If my firm has a quota of litigators to hire each year, or a quota of people with a mechanical background, do you suppose that means that we hire the first X number of litigators or mechanical engineers who apply, with no concern for any other consideration? I can assure you, that is not how we conduct our hiring. In other words, I feel fairly certain that you are setting up a caricature (some might call it a “straw man”) of “quotas” against which to frame your argument.

                1. Again, you are being obtuse – here you err in how you use the word quota. Your attempted use of a total is not in the same sense as a segmentation type of use of quota OF a particular single reference quantity OF a larger total.

                  As your backtrack at post 4.1.2.1 shows, you are merely attempting to tr011 me.

                2. [Y]ou err in how you use the word quota. Your attempted use of a total is not in the same sense as a segmentation type of use of quota OF a particular single reference quantity OF a larger total.

                  This looks like special pleading to me. Consider the following sentence.

                  Take a look at these applications that have come in. We need to hire around 10 [women/mechanical engineers] this year, so keep an eye out for the best qualified [women/mechanical engineers] in that stack as you are sorting through them.

                  The effect on the applicants is the same regardless of which of those two options in the brackets is used. Both options amount to setting a “quota” for some class of new hires.

                  I gather that your response is that what I am describing is not a “quota.” Rather, you are defining “quota” in such a way that something only qualifies as a “quota” if it uses “a particular single reference quantity OF a larger total” to make hiring decisions, or if it “us[es] a singular item as the discerning reference point,” (emphasis in original).

                  The two obvious responses to this are: (1) resort to a “true” quota definition looks suspiciously like the true Scotsman fallacy; and (2) this is a straw man in any event. No firm that is trying to hire more women does so by hiring women with no regard to their qualifications, so the insistence that it would be wrong to do so is simply beside any reasonable or meaningful point.

                3. I have no clue what point you are trying to make with your quip of “looks like special pleading.”

                  I spoke directly and plainly (as to the attempts by you to be pedantic).

                  There is NO “true Scotsman fallacy” at play here. The meaning of term does in fact change with context and you are trying to obfuscate the discussion by choosing a different context.

                  And no, this is not a strawman (for the second time).

                  You keep on making baseless accusations instead of dealing directly with the points presented.

                  Stop trying to muddle the issue. It is clear that by single discerning point we are NOT talking about a conflated situation of unqualified women, qualified women, unqualified men, and qualified men.

                  You want to act as if you don’t understand reality, but also want to do so in a smarmy way.

                  I will take this as an admission that you cannot have a direct and inte11ectually honest discussion on the merits.

    3. Wait so if there are more men then women, no problem, but if there are more women then men, OMG quotas??

      If that isn’t sexism, Idk what is.

      1. “Wait so if there are more men then women, no problem, but if there are more women then men, OMG quotas??”

        The original post by the guest poster is discussing openly discriminating against men, gathering data to do so, and supporting clients (presumably leftists in corporate america) trying to make it socially ok to be sexist against men in the choosing of a firm to hire.

        And doing so openly, as they have faith that society is sufficiently gynocentric to allow for such at the current time.

        They will be exposed, just as more and more leftists are.

        The facts are nearly certainly the same as they are in the rest of the legal world. When women start hitting around 30’s and 40’s the firms can generally barely keep them around and certainly cannot get them into “leadership”. This is not due to “muh se x isms” “muh old boys” as it might have been 50 years ago. But rather because they either a. get married to a (usually rich) guy (often who they meet through work) making more than either of them really need and quit to do other things, b. decide they want to have more “work/life balance” (sometimes having babies and taking care of them by choice), c. definitely do not want the responsibilities of the top positions or d some other similar thing. I for one do not begrudge them any of those things. Leftists do, because it doesn’t fit their dream that just because women technically can/could be equally represented in x position that they necessarily would want to do all the hundred things that are necessary. So, leftists want to “encourage them” (aka tell them to 1000x times to mind control them) to do so, via se xism, in this case quotas etc.

        Watch Jordan Peterson, he works with these high powered lawlyer women for their careers, and many others that also work with the same, and they know exactly what is going on with them in legal land. None of it is at all very hard to believe, I know women in the office around that age myself who are looking to take those exact roads that I mentioned above. I begrudge none of them doing so as leftists do. I will post a vid when I get home.

        It may have been different when MM the boomer was but a wee lad, but that simply isn’t the landscape now.

        1. Those are a lot of words to spill without ever actually addressing Quasar18’s point.

          1. “Those are a lot of words to spill without ever actually addressing Quasar18’s point.”

            Um I did address his point. He’s saying that pushback against quotas are sexist.

            He’s wrong and I went through a lot of trouble to demonstrate why.

            1. [Quasar18]’s saying that pushback against quotas are sexist.

              I had not taken that from Quasar18’s post, but now that you say it, I see that you are probably correct. Please consider my 1.3.1.1 withdrawn.

              1. That was not my point. I was saying that it is sexist to assume that there is a quota in instances where there are more women than men.

                Men have been overrepresented in many fields for years and nobody ever assumed it was because of a quota. People just assumed that it was because of merit.

                So the implicit assumption is that men have merit and women don’t and need quotas.

                Is that not sexist?

                1. That was not my point. I was saying that it is sexist to assume that there is a quota in instances where there are more women than men.

                  This is the point that I had been taking you to make, so your phrasing was clear enough (at least to me). That said, I think #1.3 is also fairly susceptible to the reading that 6 is giving it (viz., “pushback against quotas [is] sexist”).

                2. It isn’t just merit. It’s choice. There’s already a debate going on right now that women are generally not interested in technology fields (people vs. things argument). Patent law requires a technical background.

                3. All I am saying is that it appears that 6 has internalized this assumption and appears to have not thought through its logical inconsistency in favor of his preferred narrative.

                4. “I was saying that it is sexist to assume that there is a quota in instances where there are more women than men.”

                  Nobody in this thread so presumes that. You took the wrong implication from the original comment you replied to way above.

          1. Well we can be sure you’re not of the Silent Generation.

            1. Do you mean that being a part of the “Silent Generation” means that you cannot be a loud arse like Malcolm?

              That sounds like “generationalISM” to me…

              😉

        2. I am probably more familiar with JP than you because psychology is a major interest of mine.

          He has some intriguing insights on Jungian theory but is clueless when it comes to gender. This is to be expected because he has no academic experience is in the psychology of archetypes, not gender differences.

          That said, you have provided no evidence of gender quotas or coercion. Assuming there is coercion or quotas, how come it isn’t reflected in the numbers and there still are less than 50% women at most firms?

          Also isn’t a more plausible culprit the employers themselves with stingy leave policies? If employers were more generous with leave, would women still feel as pressured to “choose” between career and family?

          1. hmm,

            interesting perspective.
            Would you be in favor of paternity leaves?

            Why or why not?

            1. Yes. Children need a mother and a father around during infancy. There is research on this subject but I can’t take the time to pull it up right now.

              I am in support of alternative family structures as well such as stay at home dads and working moms.

              Also in favor of both parents working from home on flexible schedules where feasible.

              Childrearing is more important to a flourishing society than things like quarterly profits and presenteeism at work, but for some reason, our priorities are all screwy.

              1. I’m cool with your views. They appear balanced and thought through.

      2. [I]f there are more women then men, OMG quotas??

        Two responses:

        (1) It is worse than that. Those firms getting the congratulatory nod above are not even, in most instances, even at the point of more women than men. We are simply congratulating them for being somewhat less lopsidedly male.

        (2) In any event, I think your deeper point here is right on target. As the OP notes above, about half of law students presently are women. Should we not expect, under those circumstances, that law firm teams should be less lopsidedly male, even apart from quotas? What, in other words, is the actual evidence that quotas even come into it? Basically, I see an acknowledgment that men are less overwhelmingly dominant in these practice groups, and somehow this bare fact prompts people to start shouting “quotas!” and “discrimination!”.

        How curious. The evidence for discrimination or quotas seems rather thin. Moreover, the same folks shouting “discrimination” on this thread do not appear notably exercised about other instances where a given group constitutes “only” 53% (or even 28%) of a larger practice team. The concern here seems rather embarrassingly selective.

        1. Should we not expect, under those circumstances, that law firm teams should be less lopsidedly male,

          If you want to ignore a host of real life factors, you can expect to expect anything you want to expect.

          Just don’t expect that expectation to match reality (and then try to come up with some great “magic” reason why reality does not match your expectations).

          Basically, I see an acknowledgment that men are less overwhelmingly dominant in these practice groups, and somehow this bare fact prompts people to start shouting “quotas!” and “discrimination!”.

          No such thing – what you are seeing is merely the alt-reflection of the very thing that the Liberal Left engages in in a nigh continuous manner.

          As someone once said, isn’t this just small beer anyway?

          😉

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