Prepared and written for the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession by Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor at Hastings College of the Law-University of California and Co-Director of the Project for Attorney Retention, and Consuela A. Pinto, Director of Education of the Project for Attorney Retention .. in collaboration with the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law.
This completely revised and updated Second Edition
contains a current, comprehensive review of the psychological literature on stereotyping
, and it outlines a step-by-step process for implementing and conducting performance evaluations that are free from bias
. Additional material includes sample evaluation forms, performance evaluation training materials for supervising attorneys, and instructions for completing performance evaluations. Gender bias continues to prevent women from achieving parity with their male counterparts. Developing an evaluation system that controls for hidden bias is crucial, given that attorneys' performance evaluations have a direct impact on their professional development, assignments, compensation, and, ultimately, partnership potential.
Summary of Contents Listed BelowChapter I
documents that fairly evaluating women attorneys is critical if law firms want to retain proportionate numbers of women -- a business imperative given that half of law school graduates are women. Chapter II
, which reflects a comprehensive review of the psychological literature on stereotyping, begins the process of raising awareness among attorneys of the various stereotyping patterns that affect performance evaluations. An objective, job-related evaluation system ensures that development and advancement opportunities for every lawyer are determined by qualifications and merit and not gender. Chapters III and IV
outline a step-by-step guide to implementing and conducting performance evaluations that are free from bias and that will lead to higher productivity, lower attrition costs, greater client satisfaction, and increased profits.
- Appendices -- For ease of implementation, many of the recommendations contained in this manual are condensed into checklists, sample forms, and summaries in the Appendices.
Also included in this manual are two packets of materials:
- Instructions for Supervising Attorneys for Completing Performance Evaluations -- to be distributed to supervising attorneys at the outset of the evaluation period as a reminder of the firm's expectations with respect to their role in the evaluation process and best practices for conducting evaluations
- Performance Evaluation Training Materials for Supervising Attorneys -- to assist firms in educating supervising attorneys about the components of the evaluation process, pitfalls to watch out for, their role in the process, and the firm's expectations and standards