Women in the Profession

The mission of the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession is to secure full and equal participation of women in the ABA, the profession and the justice system.

Announcing the 2020 Margaret Brent Award Recipients

Click here to visit the Margaret Brent Awards page and see the five extraordinary women who were chosen to receive the 2020 Margaret Brent Award! The ceremony will be held virtually on August 27 at 4:00 p.m. CT/ 5:00 p.m. ET.

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Groundbreaking Research Available!

The ABA released a report in collaboration with ALM Intelligence, "Walking out the Door". The report provides shocking statistics about why women fifteen years in practice and up are leaving the profession. More importantly, you'll find actionable steps to reduce their attrition.

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Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in Law

This research explored the unique issues and career dynamics facing women lawyers in practice for over 20 years, and the reasons for their disproportionately high rate of attrition. These senior women lawyers' professional development entailed substantial investments by their firms and companies over the years, and they have created strong relationships with the clients they serve. Using life cycle models from the fields of sociology, social psychology, and economics, the focus of this initiative is on the many benefits of women remaining in the profession.

Research Reports

(1) a joint ABA/ALM Intelligence survey of large law firm managing partners and practicing attorneys (published);

(2) a representative survey of law school alumni who graduated 20+ years ago (forthcoming);

(3) a national focus group study (forthcoming); and

(4) a national study focusing specifically on women lawyers of color (forthcoming)

Our Initiatives

The Grit Project

The Grit Project will educate women lawyers about the science behind grit and growth mindset - two important traits that many successful women lawyers have in common.

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Women of Color Research Initiative

To fully examine advancement and retention issues among women attorneys of color, the Commission has engaged in this groundbreaking research initiative on diversity dynamics in the legal profession.

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Bias Interrupters

The groundbreaking report "You Can't Change What You Can't See" was published in collaboration with the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. The report reveals the various biases that women lawyers of color and white women lawyers experience in the profession, providing recommendations to legal employers for removing institutionalized and systemic barriers to women lawyers' success.

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Zero Tolerance

"Zero Tolerance: Best Practices for Combating Sex-Based Harassment in the Legal Profession" is a comprehensive update to the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession's previous sexual harassment material. Its accompanying Toolkit provides further resources.

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Read about Issues Important to Women Lawyers

Get a fresh, innovative angle on the issues that are important and relevant to women in the legal profession by subscribing to Perspectives, the magazine for and about women lawyers. ABA women members can receive Perspectives in an electronic format at no additional cost.

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About Us

The Commission on Women in the Profession is comprised of twelve members appointed by the ABA President. Its mission is to secure the full and equal participation of women in the ABA, the legal profession, and the justice system.

Join the ABA

As the voice of the legal community, the ABA offers career-building opportunities, advocates for the profession and promotes the rule of law world wide.

ABA Connect

The ABA Connect platform gives women lawyers a space to discuss topics that are important to them and their practice. Perspectives Community continues the conversation started by articles in Perspectives magazine. Women's Caucus Community is a forum for more general topics affecting women lawyers.

Women's Caucus

Perspectives - Connect


The Commission on Women in the Profession introduces Resolutions to the ABA House of Delegates that promote the rights of women in the legal profession.

Giving to the Commission

The Commission on Women in the Profession appreciates your donations to continue our valuable work. When you give to the Fund for Justice and Education, you can designate the Commission as your preferred recipient group. We thank you in advance!

Contact Us

The Commission welcomes your feedback. Please get in touch to learn more about our programs.