Courtroom Study Finds Women Lawyers Eclipsed in Complex Cases

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“A study of New York courtrooms shows women attorneys account for only 25 percent of lead counsel roles.

The study’s findings were released Thursday in a report by the commercial and federal litigation section of the New York State Bar Association.

Results were similar in commercial and criminal cases within the private sector, but women attorneys in the public sector fared far better, according to the report. “The low percentage of women attorneys appearing in a speaking role in courts was found at every level and in every type of court: upstate and downstate, federal and state, trial and appellate, criminal and civil, ex parte applications and multiparty matters,” the report said.

The study, conducted from September through December last year, included participation from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, two of the four federal district courts in New York, the state Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division and Commercial Divisions in the Supreme Court. In all, about 2,800 questionnaires were completed and returned by judges.”

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