Last summer, the American Bar Association (ABA) issued a sobering report, First Chairs at Trial, More Women Need Seats at the Table, which exposed the extent to which women are consistently underrepresented in lead counsel and trial counsel positions for most types of litigations. For instance, the report notes that men are three times more likely than women to act in those positions in civil cases. This underrepresentation unfortunately extends beyond the courtrooms of the United States. Last June, the Paris Bar and the France-Amériques Association jointly held a conference in Paris, “Women as Lead Counsel at Trial: What You Can Do to Take the Lead,” echoing the findings of the ABA report. The conference focused on the ways in which women litigators could effect change in their individual careers.
The Vice-Head of the Paris Bar Council, Ms. Dominique Attias, shared some interesting facts:
The panelists – who included litigators in private practice, an in-house counsel and a judge – offered a few tips, based on their own experiences, to help women further their careers and achieve leadership roles in litigations, which are good advice regardless of one’s type of practice: