Oregon State Bar Bulletin January 2002

Briefs

WHEN YOU'RE NOT READING THE BULLETIN

Someone developed a psychological profile for readers of various newspapers and circulated it on the web, where it was picked up and published by the Minnesota Law & Politics magazine which suggests, 'See where you fit in.'

(Reader suggestions on who reads the OSB Bulletin are welcome and could be printed in the next issue, if appropriate.)


MAJOR LAW FIRMS STILL MOSTLY WHITE MEN

The dearth of women and attorneys of color remains in major law firms across the nation, according to research from the National Association of Law Placement.

Relative to total headcounts, women and non-white men are still quite under-represented among partnership ranks. In 2001 the numbers increased modestly beyond 1993 levels: from 2.55 percent to 3.55 percent for attorneys of color in partnership positions, and from 12.27 to 15.80 percent for women as large law firm partners.

The data reveals that nationally women attorneys hold 41.94 percent of positions as associates, quite closely reflecting their respective representation among recent law school graduates.

Partnerships are a different story. The partnership numbers for Portland, including offices in Lake Oswego, follow the national pattern: Of 413 partners from 13 surveyed firms, 15.50 percent are women, and only 2.66 percent are attorneys of color.


LAW DEPARTMENT EXPENDITURES DROP

Reversing a multi-year trend of increases, the average total internal operating expenses per lawyer in law departments decreased by 1.5 percent, according to Altman Weil's 2002 Law Department Performance Metrics Survey.

The survey shows increases in compensation, benefits and technology spending, while occupancy and overhead costs and contract lawyer expenditures declined.

Hourly rates still 'rule': Despite much debate about the hourly rate, survey participants report that only 20 percent of fees paid to outside counsel are based on alternative fee arrangements. Law departments continue to conserve resources by employing more paralegals; large law departments of 26 or more lawyers now employ 35 paralegals for every 100 lawyers.

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