An article in the Montreal Gazette (see here) summarized well the situation of women in private practice in Quebec, citing interesting statistics:
- women make up 65 percent of law school graduates
- women make up nearly half of the members of the Barreau du Québec
- women make up 30 percent of lawyers in private practice
- women make up 20 percent of partners in private practice
It certainly isn't surprising that work-life balance or accessibility to partnership are cited as reasons for leaving private practice. An ongoing project by the Barreau du Québec – "Projet Justicia" - seeks to address, with the participation of over 20 firms, the retention and promotion of women in private practice with the implementation of best practices. This project is modeled on the Law Society of Upper Ontario's initiative of the same name, in which over 55 firms participate. The Barreau du Québec's project ends in 2014 and the LSUC's in 2013.
I will certainly look forward to reading up on any report that may be issued by either of these Bar associations.