8/2/17 Bloomberg: “Asian Americans Still Face Barriers In Legal Industry”
7/31/17 NPR: “What’s Keeping Asian-American Lawyers From Ascending The Legal Ranks?”
7/23/17 Los Angeles Times: “Op-Ed There are more Asian American lawyers than ever — but not in the top ranks”
by Goodwin Liu
For most of our nation’s history, Asians were excluded from the legal profession. But much has changed in recent decades. From 1985 to 2005, Asian Americans were the fastest growing minority group in the bar. Today. there are more than 50,000 Asian American lawyers, compared with 10,000 in 1990. More than 7,000 Asian Americans are now studying law, up from 2,300 in 1986.
And yet, Asian Americans have made limited progress in reaching the top ranks of the profession. Although Asian Americans are the largest minority group in big firms, they have the highest attrition rate and rank lowest in the ratio of partners to associates. Asian Americans comprise 6% of the U.S. population, but only 3% of federal judges and 2% of state judges. Three out of 94 U.S. attorneys in 2016 were Asian American; only four out of 2,437 elected district attorneys in 2014 were Asian American.
7/20/17 The American Lawyer: “Are Asian-Americans Fed Up With Law?”
by Vivia Chen, The Careerist
The Glass Ceiling, the Bamboo Ceiling, the Rice Swamp: If you follow the progression of Asian-American lawyers, you’ve probably heard those terms. They describe a troubling trend: While they are swelling the nation’s top law schools and the junior ranks of Big Law, Asian-Americans are rare birds in the top echelons of the profession.
3/14/17 Law.com: “Where Are the Asian-American Partners?”
By Vivia Chen
What are Asian-American lawyers complaining about now? By many measures, they are runaway successes. In 2016, Asian associates represented more than 11 percent of all associates in major firms, the National Association for Law Placement said, while Hispanics and blacks only made up 4.4 and 4.1 percent, respectively. Moreover, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) reports that 31 Asian Pacific Americans now occupy the general counsel seats of Fortune 1000 companies (15 of them in the Fortune 500 in 2016 versus just four in 2006). Not too shabby for a group that accounts for less than 6 percent of the American population.
“They go to the best law schools, the best firms, but the problem is the low conversion rate from associate to partner,” says Jean Lee, head of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. (NALP finds that Asian Pacific Americans, or APAs, represent 3.13 percent of all partners in big firms.) Compared with other ethnicities, Lee adds, “Asians are leaving [firms] at the highest numbers.”
1/17/17 ABA Journal: “Asian-Americans are underrepresented in influential legal jobs, study says”
Asian-Americans make up more than 5 percent of the U.S. population, and an even greater percentage of law students. They are well-represented among the nation’s lawyers. But they are underrepresented among the top ranks of the legal profession, according to a new study.
1/16/17 Los Angeles Times: “There are many Asian American attorneys, yet few are judges, study finds”
5/20/15 Law360: “The 25 Best Law Firms For Asian-American Attorneys”
By Jake Simpson
A group of 25 U.S. law firms including several leading intellectual property boutiques outperform the industry when it comes to employing high numbers of Asian-American attorneys, particularly at the partner level, according to Law360 data.
At these 25 firms, at least 10.8 percent of nonpartners and 5.2 percent of partners are Asian-American. The average firm in the top 25 has 14.4 percent Asian-American attorneys in the U.S., nearly triple the 5.1 percent average of the 289 U.S. firms surveyed for the 2015 Law360 Minority Report.
Here are the largest law firms in the country with the fewest Asian-American attorneys.
2010 (under construction)
2010 by state (under construction)
If you are an Asian-American attorney working in-house for a company, I encourage you to search for attorneys at the NAPABA Partners directory http://www.napaba.org/napaba/partners.asp
If you received a rejection from one of these law firms, I encourage you to file complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the law firm(s) with poor records of hiring Asian-Americans. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the EEOC to sue a law firm. Lawyers or law firms contribute millions to presidential candidates. The president appoints the members of the EEOC, and they, in turn, cower from suing those with political clout.