Women in circle of men.jpg Freelance writer Sarah Doherty follows yesterday’s article “Flexible work schedules save money, research shows” about which I posted: (You Can’t Afford to Keep Losing Your Women Lawyers)with another offering: Room at the top – Big law firms are making an effort to promote women into more visible and prominent positions Here’s how the article begins:

“When Joan Clark applied to work at a venerable Montreal law firm, she was asked whether she was engaged to be married. Her hiring met resistance from lawyers who said clients would never accept a woman in the job. When she was eventually invited to her firm’s formal partner’s lunch at a tony private club, Clark, now 76, had to use a special entrance while her colleagues waltzed through the front door. “I eventually went through the front door, but I knew how black people felt when they had to sit at the back of the bus,” Clark said. “We don’t have that kind of discrimination now.”

My Opinion: This article is a useful supplement to the previous one… it is in some ways optimistic by citing some genuine progress for women lawyers but at the same time the article ends with a quote from Stephanie Jolin regarding litigation practices in particular that seems a wee bit pessimistic:

“Because of what the job demands, there will be a certain amount of limitation on how flexible you can be, especially in litigation,” she said. “The job description is tough.”

Read the full text and then tell me what is your take on the issue of big firms retaining women lawyers?