Leslie Richards-Yellen Quoted in Law360 Article on the Attainability of Equity Partnership for Women Attorneys

April 22, 2015

Leslie Richards-Yellen, Partner and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer in the Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP Chicago office, was recently quoted in the Law360 article, "Equity Partnership More Attainable For Women At 1-Tier Firms." The article examines how female attorneys at one-tier firms are attaining equity partnership at an increasing rate in comparison to two-tier firms. 

The article begins discussing how collaboration at law firms fosters an environment for female attorneys to succeed and afford them more opportunities rather than firms who promote a competitive environment. Ms. Richards-Yellen expresses her insight on some of the challenges new female attorneys face and how one-tier firms collaborative environments can help women overcome those challenges.

"When I think of the structural issues such as how do you get credit, how do you get work, it’s harder for women to benefit from them, just because we’re newer to the game and it’s harder for women to monetize their relationships,” Leslie Richards-Yellen, public finance partner and chief diversity and inclusion officer at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and vice president of the National Association of Women Lawyers, tells Law360. “But from what I’ve seen, [one-tier firms] tend to be more collaborative, and that says that law firms need to think about that collaboration differently.”

The article concludes by analyzing how different barriers to entry at two-tier firms can put female attorneys at a disadvantage and how they can use these challenges to focus their efforts on improving their marketing skills and load up their client rosters. Ms. Richards-Yellen comments on how the two-tier system allows firms to take a snapshot of promising candidates that have the potential to climb higher. She states, "[It provides] two levels of scrutiny that allow for time and change for things to happen that may reduce that head of steam that women have to make it to an equity partnership. It’s a measurement of whether you have the numbers, the personality to be a capital partner, a measurement of the woman’s personal brand, her grit.”

Read the full article "Equity Partnership More Attainable For Women At 1-Tier Firms" on Law 360's website. Please note, a subscription is required to access the article.

Leslie Richards-Yellen serves as Hinshaw's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. She is a member of the firm's Executive Committee, Chair of the firm's Diversity Committee and a co-chair of the firm's Attorney Life Committee. Ms. Richards-Yellen concentrates her practice in the public finance arena. Since 2007 she has served as borrower's and issuer's counsel and work out counsel in excess of $3 billion in financings. She has experience as in-house counsel and in private practice. 

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a national law firm with approximately 500 attorneys providing coordinated legal services across the United States and in London. Hinshaw lawyers partner with businesses, governmental entities and individuals to help them effectively address legal challenges and seize opportunities. Founded in 1934, the firm represents clients in complex litigation and in regulatory and transactional matters.