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white papers

The Evolution of Legal Career Options for Women in the United States

Kimberly Lerman 03 / 25 / 21

What law firms need to know to save time and money using eDiscovery managed services.

A lot has changed for women in law in the last 100 years.


Today, more than 50% of law school students in the U.S. are women. This is a significant milestone, because prior to the Civil Rights Movement many law schools refused to even admit female applicants. Some brave women were undeterred, matriculating at the schools that would admit them despite the grim prospects for female attorneys seeking employment with established law firms.

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1Key takeaways from the white paper

Decade-by-decade breakdown of milestones for women in the legal industry

Current sex diversity stats in law firms, corporations, and law schools

Current career options for women practicing law

The Evolution of Legal Career Options for Women in the United States covers the last century of progress made by women practicing law in the U.S. The amount of progress made in fewer than 100 years is incredible, but there's still a long way to go.



Years of progress

Overcoming obstacles

Women in the U.S. have overcome decades of sex discrimination at law schools, law firms, and in the corporate world. After more than a century of being turned away, women represent more than half of law school students today. 

3What the New Law era means for women

Starting in the 2000s, general counsels became more willing to hire contract attorneys to supplement their teams. At the same time, there was an abundance of extremely well-qualified lawyers interested in finding contract work. Read this white paper to see how this intersection works in the favor of women's progress in the legal industry.

About the author

Kimberly Lerman
Kimberly Lerman

Kimberly Lerman is a Legility Talent Manager in Atlanta. She works primarily with attorneys, placing them in a variety of positions in corporate legal departments across numerous industries as well as at law firms. Prior to the start of her career in recruiting in 2015, Kimberly spent 15 years practicing law in Atlanta, and she was involved in hiring attorneys throughout that time. In her last legal role she served as Vice President & Associate General Counsel for a large company in Atlanta. In addition to seven years of in-house experience, Kimberly also worked as a litigation associate at local law firms, including several years at both King & Spalding and Eversheds Sutherland. Throughout her law firm tenure, Kimberly was involved with interviewing law students and lawyers at job fairs, on-campus interviews and onsite interviews. She also was a member of the Hiring Committee at Eversheds Sutherland from 2005 – 2007. Kimberly currently serves as Co-Chairman of the Duke Atlanta Women’s Forum, and is a Member of the Duke Law Atlanta Board.

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