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Phillips Murrah Recognized as Ceiling Smasher in Gender Diversity Among Equity Partners for Third Consecutive Year

By September 27th, 2022No Comments
Law360 Glass Ceiling Report data 2

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Phillips Murrah is proud to be recognized for the third consecutive year in the 2022 Glass Ceiling Report: Women In Law, the latest Law360 law firm gender diversity and equity report.

Law 360, the NYC-based legal industry news service, surveys participating law firms in various size categories each year. Survey results include growth in the number of women in private practice, along with the number of women lawyers in each responding firm by attorney title, including equity partners, as well as the number of women in leadership positions. Results are reported in four firm headcount divisions.

With women making up 44.4% of its equity partners, Phillips Murrah has been recognized for a third year as a Ceiling Smasher, a list that includes the top 10 firms in each law firm size category with the highest representation of women in their respective equity partnerships. Notably, Phillips Murrah’s percentage of equity partners who are women ranks among the top 15 of all reporting firms in the United States and the only Oklahoma headquartered firm to make the list in any size category. Firms recognized as Ceiling Smashers are characterized by Law360 as forging a path to progress and demonstrating the potential and possibilities of law firm efforts to work towards parity.

Law360 Glass Ceiling Report data 3

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“Phillips Murrah celebrates its recognition as a Ceiling Smasher for the third year in a row!” said Candace Williams Lisle, Chair of Phillips Murrah’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Phillips Murrah also ranks in the top 10 in firmwide representation of female attorneys, which includes Associates (80%) and Of Counsel attorneys (38.9%).

“Our ultimate goal is to hire and retain the most talented attorneys,” Lisle continued. “The fact that so many are women demonstrates the great strides women have made in the legal profession. We’re proud that Phillips Murrah is a firm where women have the opportunity to excel in the practice of law and in firm governance, including the majority of our firm’s managing Executive Committee.

“It’s also noteworthy that a number of women attorneys at Phillips Murrah, including equity partners, have returned to the practice of law after career breaks. Phillips Murrah champions and supports talented women at every stage of life.”

How do firms measure up?

A total of 291 firms nationwide were evaluated in this year’s edition of the Glass Ceiling Report. Only 7.9% of firms exceed Law360’s benchmarks (see methodology below). Among the small slice of firms that earned positive scores, the majority have fewer than 100 attorneys. In this area, Phillips Murrah again ranked in the top 10 with a positive score of 3.1.

Law360 Glass Ceiling Report data 1


First, to evaluate firms at the associate level, Law360 Pulse computed the 2018–2020 proportion of women among all third-year law students attending schools accredited by the American Bar Association. That figure amounted to 52.4%.

To gauge firms’ representation of nonequity partners, Law360 compared firms’ 2021 percentage of female nonequity partners to the percentage of female associates and other attorneys reported by all firms from our 2018–2020 headcount survey submissions. This benchmark comes out to 46.1%.

Then, firms’ female equity partner representation was assessed against the aggregated rate of female associates, other attorneys and nonequity partners across the same three years of survey data. That benchmark is tallied at 43.3%. Nonequity partners are included here because that role can be a steppingstone to the equity tier.

The benchmark for other attorneys — a group that’s generally composed of counsel and staff attorneys — is computed as the harmonic mean of the three previous values. This figure comes out to 47%.

Benchmarks were subtracted from the rate of female attorneys at each level. The differentials were then added for all applicable categories, with each level weighted by its proportion of the firm’s total attorneys. Calculations and rankings use unrounded numbers.