Legal Profession


2018 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms

Document Type

Issue/Research Brief/Blog

Publication Date



lawyer demographics, race and ethnicity, gender, lawyer retention rates


Women and Black/African Americans made small gains in representation at major U.S. law firms in 2018 compared with 2017, according to the latest law firm demographic findings from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP). However, representation of Black/African-Americans among associates remains below 2009 levels. NALP’s recent analyses of the 2018-2019 NALP Directory of Legal Employers (NDLE) — the annual compendium of legal employer data published by NALP — shows that women and minorities continued to make small gains in their representation among law firm partners in 2018. However, the overall percentage of women associates has decreased almost as often as not since 2009, and the percentage of Black/African-American associates has declined most years since 2009, and despite small increases in the last three years remains below its 2009 level.