By Samantha Joseph, Daily Business Review
A laugh fest with comedian Carlos Mencia Thursday night was part of a serious and strategic push by Duane Morris to develop business for its female partners and associates.
Over cocktails, the female attorneys hosted about 30 current or prospective clients in a packed room at the Fort Lauderdale Improv as Mencia, famous for stand-up specials on HBO and Comedy Central, drew in the audience with his acerbic wit as he focused on immigration, race and politics.
While comedy was the hook, the ultimate goal was to provide networking opportunities for female attorneys.
"Although women have been in law firms for about a generation now, men network and develop their networks though more established pipelines of business," Duane Morris Miami partner Lida Rodriguez-Taseff said. "Women often don't have those long-established pipelines. Women attorneys are forging their way for the first time, and the women who are our clients in other fields are often making their way for the first time, too."
Women in law often face multiple disadvantages compared with their male counterparts, including a gulf in pay and shortfall in opportunities to generate business.
A survey released in early October by legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa found that male partners at large firms out-earned their female counterparts by about 44 percent. Men's salary average $949,000 compared with the women's average of $659,000.
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