Exploring Inequality in the Corporate Law Firm Apprenticeship: Doing the Time, Finding the Love


On the basis of qualitative interviews as part of the After the J.D. Project, the paper explores the attrition of associates in corporate law firms. One aspect of the paper explores the continuing high attrition among women and minorities and how that is produced. The other aspect focuses on the more general reluctance of associates generally, and especially those from elite schools, to imagine the law firm apprenticeship as anything more than a stage they are expected to go through on their way to something else. The few who stay to battle for partnership are those who are best able to - or hungriest and therefore most willing - to put in the time and those who get support at home and work for the extraordinary effort that it takes.

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