If you have practiced law for even a year or two, then you already know that “glass ceilings” are alive and well in 2019. A whopping 60% of attorneys are women, and STILL the percent of female equity partners is a mere 15%. Women of color are even MORE underrepresented in the profession! (Some more generous recent polls list the equity numbers at 19%; not exactly grounds for jubilation.)

So, it’s no wonder that the ABA’s most recent study, done just last summer, shows 50% of all women lawyers are leaving the practice of law by the 20-year mark in their careers, if not before! When these talented and intelligent women should be just hitting their stride, they have left the practice all together. This statistic is disturbing and it’s a reality that hurts our profession, our clients, and short changes far too many women.

Glass ceilings, along with disproportionate pay, and lack of firm flexibility for familial responsibilities played a huge roll in these attrition numbers.

As most of us know all too well, the pay gap that our mother’s generation experienced is STILL the reality, with a current 53% disparity between male and female partners in the top U.S. law firms, according to AAJ numbers published just last month!

Here’s a critical distinction: The ABA’s recent study also showed that when men leave a law firm, it’s typically for personal marketing reasons, i.e.- to go out on their own, while when women leave a law firm, they list familial responsibilities as one of the primary causes, and NOT a desire to start their own firms.

The recent Jones Day law suit filed this month is exciting to hear about: a 200 million-dollar law suit filed by female attorneys who have experienced firsthand the old boys’ network, glass ceilings, lack of equality in compensation and advancement, and the likes. While we are pulling for them and watching this case closely, the truth is it will probably be in the courts for years…

Meanwhile, more and more women are leaving the practice of law in frustration. More and more women are struggling; they are boxed in by glass ceilings, while also being pulled in multiple directions between inflexible work responsibilities within firms that cater to a male mind set, and childrearing and family responsibilities that also need their attention. It’s no wonder they hit a breaking point.

Shatter glass ceilings by starting your own firm

But now, TODAY, women can MAKE THINGS HAPPEN FOR THEMSELVES. Women have the power, and the abilities to start their own firms and create their own firm culture. To create a firm environment that affords them the chance to do what they love doing, but in a way that makes sense for them. It’s called ENTREPRENEURSHIP. Have you thought about starting your own law firm?

SHE PERSISTED: This phrase has become synonymous this year with the grit and determination women across our country are bringing to the table not only on the Hill, but in courtrooms, boardrooms, ball fields and battlefields.

It takes GRIT to start a law firm, and to grow it successfully, but it’s the same grit that has gotten you to where you are now. It’s the determination to set a goal and then make it happen! For many women, there is reluctance to start a firm on their own: It sure isn’t a subject they teach us in law school, is it?

But if you were able to pass the bar, and work for years growing someone else’s practice, why not put that same energy, compassion and determination to bear to grow something for yourself and your family? To build a firm and a culture that reflects YOUR values and gives you the freedom to call the shots yourself, and to NOT be penalized when you need to pick a child up from school or soccer practice…

I believe there is a reluctance for many women to grab the helm and captain their own law firm ship. They worry about the finances and whether they can grow the firm successfully and be able to generate the income they need each month to keep things afloat in the interim. The truth is, you CAN do it, and it is not as difficult as you might think!

PILMMA has been helping lawyers for years grow their firms through law firm marketing and management strategies that are not cost prohibitive. Ken Hardison, the founder of PILMMA, grew and later sold two 7- figure law firms before devoting himself to helping other lawyers grow their firms. He has been where you are right now: working to help someone else grow their law firm, and in an environment where someone else calls the shots, sets the rules, and dictates the hours you will work.

He has helped lawyers across the country grow their law firms through proven grass roots strategies that you can implement and still pay your bills and keep your firm afloat as it grows and have freedom and flexibility in the process. But it isn’t just grass roots marketing…

There has never been a better time to start and grow a law firm; We live in the digital age and with those advancements comes the ability for you to hang your shingle, grow your firm and compete with the big guns by leveraging Digital Marketing.

Digital Marketing allows lawyers to level the playing field. PILMMA can help you learn how to create an engaging web site that draws business, how to obtain google reviews, how to use SEO, how to determine which vendors produce results, how to use organic social media content and more.

Honestly, while we want to see glass ceilings go the way of the dinosaur, this process will not happen overnight.

Starting your OWN firm is the surest way to change the game for you and for your family. And, the ripple effect will prove to shatter the old boy network that relegates too many of us to the margins in the legal profession. As more and more women become Entrepreneurs and as we grow our own successful law firms, it elevates all of us!

Of course, law firm ownership isn’t an instantaneous magic bullet; There is work involved. And for many women lawyers I’ve talked with, there is STILL a struggle, in that they have become a one woman show; they are doing everything in their firm from paying the bills, answering the phones, going to court to drafting pleadings, etc.… and they are frustrated that they have no more freedom than when they worked for someone else.

If you have already gone out on your own, are you still so tied to your office that you wonder if it was worth the effort?

There’s a solution and it isn’t quitting: It’s learning how to work smarter and not harder! It’s learning how to grow a law firm and make it work efficiently, but without spending years of time and thousands of dollars via trial and error in the process. It’s learning how to leverage your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

Law School teaches us how to practice law, but it doesn’t teach us how to be entrepreneurs, and start our own successful law firms.

PILMMA has a heart to help women grow successful law firms — law firms that provide excellent client service combined with cutting-edge marketing and management strategies that allow you to truly work less and earn more. It is not impossible. In fact, it is a reachable goal and we can show you how!

PILMMA has been helping lawyers grow successful firms — doubling, tripling, quadrupling their income — but without pulling their hair out in the process. We have been helping lawyers transform their firms for ten years.

This year, after seeing these disturbing ABA statistics we knew it was time to do something special. We decided to try and reach more women with a message of hope and the educational tools they need to be entrepreneurs and build their own law firms, instead of building someone else’s. Law firms that reflect their values and give them the financial success they need and deserve as well as the freedom and flexibility that firm ownership affords.

Our Super Summit will help you begin to shatter glass ceilings

We want you to join us in New Orleans, at the Ritz Carleton, June 25-28, 2019 for PILMMA’s Super Summit! It’s 3½ days jam-packed with presentations from practicing lawyers who have grown successful law firms themselves and are sharing their own proven marketing and management strategies. It’s invaluable content that will save you years of trial and error and help you jump start your own law firm.

The 2019 Super Summit’s first day provides you with the nuts and bolts of how to start your law firm, and leverage both grass roots and digital marketing. The second day is a high content, double tracked program in both law firm marketing and law firm management, with super-lawyers sharing the strategies they have used to successfully grow and manage their own firms.

The last day is a special bonus day— our first ever Empowering Women to be Entrepreneurs program. And we have asked GLORIA ALLRED TO JOIN US. Ms. Allred is the key note speaker for this first ever historic Women’s Day. It’s a day that will be filled with education and motivation from female lawyers who are growing successful law firms themselves and want to share their knowledge with other women attorneys.

Imagine a room filled with smart, passionate women ready to change their lives and grow law firms that will change the world!

If you are a women lawyer reading this blog, we want you to be a part of this historic and exciting event. We want you to experience first hand the motivation, education, strategies and tactics that will blow the roof off a glass ceiling and help you start and/or grow your own law firm- one that reflects your value system and gives you the freedom and flexibility you need to THRIVE.

Change only happens when we decide it’s time to change, and we ACT! So, take the next step: Decide today to join us this summer for PILMMA’s 10th Anniversary Super Summit at the Ritz-Carleton in the French Quarter of New Orleans, June 25-28, 2019. Simply visit our registration page.

We’ve reserved a block of rooms at the Ritz for our attendees, but these rooms will sell out, so don’t delay in making your arrangements!

We are so sure that this SUPER SUMMIT will be worth your time and effort that we are offering a full money back guarantee: If, after the first day, you aren’t glad you came, we will refund your complete registration fee along with $500 in travel reimbursement for documented travel expense.

Be a trailblazer. Let us help you. It’s time!

About the author

glass ceilings

Tiana Hinnant Hardison

Tiana Hinnant Hardison practiced law for over 27 years, with an emphasis on personal injury and disability law and now focuses her time and energies with PILMMA. You may contact Tiana at tiana@pilmma.org.