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Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends: Professional Ideologies, Gender Stereotypes and the Future of Women Lawyers at Large Law Firms

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Abstract:

Increasingly competitive practice conditions in the market for corporate legal services, accentuated by the economic downturn, are transforming not only the practice realities, the organization, and the structure of large law firms, but also their professional ideologies. Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends: Professional Ideologies, Gender Stereotypes and the Future of Women Lawyers at Large Law Firms argues that competitive meritocracy, the prevailing large firm professional ideology over the last fifty years, is in decline. Competitive meritocracy is being replaced by a hyper-competitive ideology that, compared with its predecessor, puts more emphasis on 24-7 client-centered representation, complete loyalty and devotion to the firm and its clients, and maximizing profit per partner; and less emphasis on meritocracy, the exercise of professional judgment, and cultivation of professional culture and maintaining a sustainable work-life balance.

This transformation is bad news for large law firms because unlike competitive meritocracy, hyper-competitiveness compromises their claim to be doing elite work, their ability to recruit and keep elite lawyers, and ultimately the credibility of their claim for elite status. The ideological shift is particularly devastating for previously excluded minorities at large law firms seeking equality. Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends studies the impact of hyper-competitiveness on the career path of women lawyers at large firms in the context of persisting gender stereotypes and concludes that the new ideology is likely to magnify the negative consequences of these stereotypes and further hinder the quest of women lawyers for equality at large law firms and in the legal profession.
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Name: The Law and Society Association
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http://www.lawandsociety.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p428981_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wald, Eli. "Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends: Professional Ideologies, Gender Stereotypes and the Future of Women Lawyers at Large Law Firms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Renaissance Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL, May 24, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p428981_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wald, E. , 2010-05-24 "Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends: Professional Ideologies, Gender Stereotypes and the Future of Women Lawyers at Large Law Firms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Renaissance Chicago Hotel, Chicago, IL <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p428981_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Increasingly competitive practice conditions in the market for corporate legal services, accentuated by the economic downturn, are transforming not only the practice realities, the organization, and the structure of large law firms, but also their professional ideologies. Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends: Professional Ideologies, Gender Stereotypes and the Future of Women Lawyers at Large Law Firms argues that competitive meritocracy, the prevailing large firm professional ideology over the last fifty years, is in decline. Competitive meritocracy is being replaced by a hyper-competitive ideology that, compared with its predecessor, puts more emphasis on 24-7 client-centered representation, complete loyalty and devotion to the firm and its clients, and maximizing profit per partner; and less emphasis on meritocracy, the exercise of professional judgment, and cultivation of professional culture and maintaining a sustainable work-life balance.

This transformation is bad news for large law firms because unlike competitive meritocracy, hyper-competitiveness compromises their claim to be doing elite work, their ability to recruit and keep elite lawyers, and ultimately the credibility of their claim for elite status. The ideological shift is particularly devastating for previously excluded minorities at large law firms seeking equality. Glass Ceilings and Dead Ends studies the impact of hyper-competitiveness on the career path of women lawyers at large firms in the context of persisting gender stereotypes and concludes that the new ideology is likely to magnify the negative consequences of these stereotypes and further hinder the quest of women lawyers for equality at large law firms and in the legal profession.


Similar Titles:
Perceiving Glass Ceilings? Meritocratic versus Structural Explanations of Gender Inequality among Women in Science and Technology

Gender and Global Lawyering: Analyzing the Status of Women in Global Law Firms

Prospect for Cracking the Political Glass Ceiling: The Future of Women Officeholders

Glass Ceilings in Large Law Firms


 
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