True Grit Needed For Women Lawyers To Succeed, Says New Study

True Grit Needed For Women Lawyers To Succeed, Says New Study 2

“Grits with that?” It may be the calling-card for successful women lawyers according to research undertaken by The Grit Project.

The Grit Project was prepared by the ABA’s Commission on Women in the law profession and is to be published in a book later this year.

However a Miami meeting last week showed that there is a statistical link between grit and

Milana Hogan - ABA Journal
Milana Hogan – ABA Journal

successful women. The survey by Milana Hogan at the University of Pennsylvania showed that grit influenced quality of work, seniority and tenure and other factors.

We have frequently reported about the problems women in law face, including the fact that they are more than twice as likely to resign from their firm and in gender diversity issues in the law.

So, what IS grit?

The ABA Journal article concerning the research report that ‘Grit’ is –

defined as “behavioral persistence in the face of adversity,” and “sustained, passionate pursuit of goals,” according to study information shared at the Friday program. The study also looks at mindset, described as beliefs one has about his or herself, like “Am I smart?” or “Am I a good lawyer?” The study asserts that whether someone has a growth mindset predicts his or her seniority in an organization.

Lawyers generally are pretty gritty, the study shows.  They report a relationship between grit, mindset and ‘measures of success for lawyers’.

 The research also shows that women attorneys tend to think that grit and growth mindset are important for success, and that while many successful lawyers show growth-mindset traits when dealing with difficult situations, there’s “significant room for improvement.”

So while the role of women in law continues to arouse continued interest and often concern, the ‘grit factor’ is one that needs to be built into the success factors for women lawyers.

What do you think?  Let LawFuel know about your experiences as a woman lawyer.


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