Our Take: Women Outnumber Men in Law School for the First Time

2016 has been an interesting year for women. Whether it’s the rise of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries or the continued resonance of Leaning In, women are making their mark across traditionally male-dominated fields. And the celebrations should continue: according to the December 15th release of the Standard 509 Information Reports, there are currently 772 more women enrolled in law school than men.

In other words: women are leading law.

The numbers:

  • 55,468 women are enrolled in law schools in 2016, -1% decrease from 2015 to 2016
  • 54,696 men are enrolled in law schools in 2016, -5% decrease from 2015 to 2016
  • According to Derek T. Muller, an associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, enrollment is the lowest since 1974-1975, with 110,951 total enrollments.

As a minority woman-run business (our fabulous CEO Alessandra Lezama has been leading our team since 2013), we know the importance of having a diverse workforce to drive innovation, communication, and collaboration.

But what does that mean for the industry as a whole?

  • It represents reality

If a law firm is demographically representative of the general population, more people will feel comfortable and retain its services. Finding the “right” lawyer for their legal needs can be very stressful for clients, and anything that puts the client at ease can be helpful.

  • Diversity breeds innovation

Take it from us – creativity is key to success. Presenting an idea to a diverse group of people will typically result in a greater discussion – and discord -- than presenting the same idea to a homogeneous group of people (since people from different backgrounds have different opinions on certain topics based on their own personal experiences, of course.)  But while disagreements or conflicts can be very uncomfortable, they are the foundation for innovative thought -  they can lead to advancements that improve the firm as a whole

  • Diversity attracts top talent

Young, highly-skilled individuals are attracted to firms with high diversity statistics. Having a diverse work force shows talented candidates that your business values different perspectives and chooses the best talent. In turn, firms can decrease turnover rate and increase employee satisfaction.

So way to go, ladies! We wish you nothing but success.