SOURCE: Dinse/Knapp/McAndrew


February 19, 2010 17:09 ET

Vermont Law Firm Dinse/Knapp/McAndrew Outperforms National Average of Women Lawyers Serving as Equity and Managing Partners in Law Firms

BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwire - February 19, 2010) -  With a recent report from Law360 indicating that women make up on average just 19 percent of partners in law firms, the Vermont law firm Dinse/Knapp/McAndrew continues to exceed the national average with 42 percent female partnership in the firm. When compared to the firms included in the Best 50 Law Firms for Women, Dinse has significantly better female participation in many categories despite the fact that it is not a large, metropolitan firm. Dinse has a higher percentage of women lawyers, associates, equity partners, management/executive committee members, compensation committee members, and newly admitted partners than any of these firms.

The Shriver Report (an economic policy report focusing on female participation in the American workforce) confirms that women are the primary or equal breadwinners in two-thirds of American homes. Women also comprise fifty percent of the working population. While this balance sounds ideal, the number of women working compared to men does not translate to equality. Less than 20 percent of women are currently in leadership positions across American businesses and much less for the Fortune 500 firms. This means that the majority of working women must report to a male supervisor. The trend is particularly prevalent in the fields of law and medicine where we instinctively ask, "Who is your doctor? Is he any good?" without thinking twice. However, the number of women attorneys at Dinse strays from the traditional.

A typical law firm would likely see the majority of its female employees working in paralegal, legal assistant and legal secretary positions. Of Dinse/Knapp/McAndrew's 27 lawyers, 12 are women lawyers including eight partners and one of the three named partners of the firm, Karen McAndrew. Women are involved at the highest levels of the firm including ownership, the management committee, shareholders and directors. 

Though The Shriver Report attributes gender fluctuation in the American workforce to the economic recession, the male-to-female ratio and number of women attorneys at Dinse has not changed as of late. Five of the female partners, all women attorneys, have been with the firm for ten years or more.

Women lawyers head four of the practice groups at Dinse with Karen McAndrew heading up Litigation; Molly Lebowitz, Real Estate; Leigh Cole, Immigration; and Amy McLaughlin, co-chair of the Employment division. Women also lead several important committees at the firm. Karen McAndrew serves on the firm's three-person Management Committee, Sandra Strempel leads the firm's Recruitment activities and Leigh Cole chairs the firm's Social Responsibility Committee. Ms. Lebowitz and Ms. Strempel have also served on the firm's Management Committee. The skill of these women has not only been recognized within the firm. Chambers USA has recognized Karen McAndrew and Molly Lebowitz among the best business lawyers in America since 2007. These two women were also among the top 50 Women New England Super Lawyers in 2009, a prestigious list voted on by peer attorneys throughout New England. Leigh Cole, Molly Lebowitz, and Karen McAndrew were all included in The Best Lawyers of America 2010, another peer-selected list of the best attorneys in the country. 

It is no coincidence that Dinse is one of the largest and most successful firms in Vermont and Northern New York. The firm is dedicated to hiring the best, most qualified individuals regardless of gender. As Ms. Lebowitz says, "In the twenty years I have been at Dinse, gender has never been an issue. The firm has rewarded talent, hard work and production, while recognizing that each attorney, regardless of gender, has a unique path to his or her professional success." Learn more about Burlington, Vermont law firm Dinse/Knapp/McAndrew at

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