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Being a Female Attorney—in a Male-Dominated Field 

By May 20, 2021Uncategorized

It’s probably not too surprising to most that law is a very male-dominated field. In the United States, only 7.2% of women worked full-time in a male-dominated occupation in 2018.  And there is no exception to the statistic regarding full-time lawyers in Utah.  Due to the major disparity in Utah, a report from the Women Lawyers of Utah as part of the Initiative on the Advancement and Retention of Women in Law was done.   The findings showed: 

National vs. Utah Trends 

  • Women practitioners (overall) 38% 23%
  • Women Partners of law firms 24% 12%
  • Respondents who report no senior women in their workplace 61%
  • Respondents who report less than 20% women in the workplace 40%

What this shows is that women are significantly underrepresented in the profession in Utah relative to the overall nation.  While 38% of attorneys nationally are women, women comprise less than a quarter (23%) of practicing attorneys in Utah. “The lack of equal representation in legal careers presents significant challenges for women’s recruitment, retention, and advancement.  When women do not represent a critical mass, they experience token pressures that heighten their visibility, reinforce negative stereotypes, and induce performance pressures” (ibid.).

This lack of representation is also seen in the Utah Legal Elite.  Every year, Utah Business Magazine honors those attorneys who have been deemed Legal Elite by their peers.  Attorneys are ranked according to their practice category, and only those who earn enough votes to place them in the top 10 percent of their category are selected as a Legal Elite finalist.  Finalists are then vetted by a panel of 15 attorneys and are selected by Utah State Bar to eliminate bias and provide third-party verification of their results.  

I have had the honor of being selected for Legal Elite for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.  Out of all the family law attorneys (totaling 31), there were 13 women who received this prestigious award.  This is an approximate representation of 41%.  We are catching up but still have a long way to go.  

My other fellow female attorneys who won this award alongside me are fierce women who I consider my peers and friends, and they are blazing a trail for other women to rise and advance in our legal field.  I am proud to be one of those women.  I believe that you can succeed in a male-dominated field, and I am doing what I can to advance the ability of every woman to succeed and flourish.   I am an empowered woman looking to empower others.  

Hire the Bulldog Divorce Attorney

If you’re considering divorce, and have questions regarding your case, CoilLaw can help. Jill Coil, managing partner or CoilLaw has years of experience and can give you a realistic view of what to expect in a divorce case. Please reach out to our office to schedule a consultation via video conference or telephone.  

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