Oregon State Bar Bulletin — DECEMBER 2003


Women, Attorneys of Color Make Gains
Attorneys of color account for slightly more than 4 percent of the partners in the nation’s major law firms, and women account for 16.81 percent, according to a new survey by NALP,the National Association for Law Placement.

These numbers suggest that, relative to total headcounts, women attorneys and attorneys of color are under-represented among partnership ranks at these firms. However, these figures also document a continuing, albeit small, increase from data compiled in 2002. The presence of women attorneys and attorneys of color in large law firms has been rising steadily since 1993 — at that time attorneys of color accounted for 2.55 percent and women accounted for 12.27 percent of partners.

The current data reveals that, nationally, women attorneys hold 43.02 percent of associate or staff/senior attorney positions and that attorneys of color hold 14.63 percent of these positions.

Women attorneys and attorneys of color were best represented among summer associates; 18.67 percent of summer associates were of color, while women accounted for about 49 percent of summer associates.

The survey includes an analysis of 40 major cities, including Portland. Among partners in Portland firms, 17.79 percent are women and 2.17 percent are attorneys of color. Among Portland associates, 42.22 percent are women and 8.06 are attorneys of color. Finally, among summer associates, 44.19 were women and 20.93 were persons of color. Some 14 offices, representing 506 attorneys in all, were included in the Portland sample.

For more information, consult the NALP press room at www.nalp.org/press. The Directory of Legal Employers is available online at www.nalpdirectory.com.

Lawyer's No. 1 Concern: Workload
So many cases, so little time could be the mantra of today’s busy lawyers. More than half (53 percent) of attorneys polled recently said their greatest challenge is managing increased workloads. Finding good people followed, with 22 percent of the response.

The results appear in a new survey developed by The Affiliates.

Attorneys were asked, 'Of the following, which would you say is your single greatest challenge as a manager today?' The responses:

Meeting increased workload demand:
53 percent

Locating and hiring qualified candidates:
22 percent

Maintaining morale:
9 percent

Retaining clients/increasing business:
6 percent

Retaining staff:
3 percent

Other/don’t know:
7 percent.

Membership fees: Pay them online
The Oregon State Bar now offers members the ability to pay and view their membership fees online. This new feature will be available to all members for the 2004 membership fee billing cycle.

Membership fee statements for 2004 will be mailed to members Dec. 10. The online payment center for 2004 fees will also be available Dec. 10. Deadline to avoid an increase in 2004 membership fees or to change membership status is 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 2, 2004.

Don’t let your work go unrecognized
Reminder: While paying your dues, be sure to complete the voluntary pro bono reporting for 2003 section, found on the 2004 fee statements.

The hours reported are being tracked for the Pro Bono Challenge, sponsored by the Oregon New Lawyers Division. The challenge is a friendly competition to motivate attorneys to provide the highest level of pro bono services. The challenge recognizes pro bono service by all sizes of firms, individual attorneys and law students.

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It only takes a few hours a month to make a difference. Even when people are busy balancing family and careers there are tangible ways to give back and be rewarded by contributing to time and energy to the Oregon State Bar as a volunteer.

The 2004 Appointment and Volunteer Opportunities brochure describes all of the volunteer opportunities available at the OSB. There are opportunities to contribute any amount of time that fits your schedule. To get started, all you need to do is fill out the form and return to the OSB.

Forms are accepted yearlong to fill future vacancies. The form is available online at www.osbar.org, or if you prefer, call or e-mail Jane Gillespie for a copy of the information brochure and form. She can be reached at jgillespie@osbar.org or (503) 620-0222, ext. 308, or toll-free in Oregon at (800) 452-8260, ext. 308.