Chambliss, Elizabeth and Christopher Uggen. 2000. “Men and Women of Elite Law Firms: Reevaluating Kanter's Legacy.” Law and Social Inquiry 25:41-68.




This paper tests the effects of minority partner representation (1980-1990) on minority associate representation in a sample of 97 law firms. We perform separate analyses for women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans, and we consider both group-specific 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 importance of partner composition on the distribution of rewards within law firms. We show how our findings help 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.