Men and women of elite law firms: Reevaluating Kanter's legacy

Elizabeth Chambliss, Christopher Uggen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


This paper tests the effects of minority partner representation on minority associate representation in a sample of 97 law firms from 1980 to 1990. We perform separate analyses for women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, and we consider both within-group and cross-group effects. We find that minority partner representation has a positive effect on minority associate representation, which is statistically significant in the case of women and Asian Americans. Our findings are consistent with lawyers' own accounts, which emphasize the impact of partner composition on the distribution of rewards within law firms. We also show how our findings clarify previous studies about the effects of minority representation on the distribution of organizational rewards, focusing particularly on Kanter's work and subsequent related research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-68
Number of pages28
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


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