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MWL Gender Data Project

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On July 31st, 2020, the National Conference of Women Bar Associations (NCWBA) presented its 2020 Public Service Award to Minnesota Women Lawyers for its Gender Data Project.  The Award was presented remotely at the Women’s Bar Leadership Summit. Adine Momoh, MWL Gender Data Project Chair and Partner at Stinson LLP, accepted the award on behalf of Minnesota Women Lawyers.


To learn more and to view Adine's video acceptance remarks, click HERE.




Minnesota Women Lawyers is pleased to release its MWL Gender Data Project: 2019 Follow-Up Report. This report is a supplement to MWL's 2015 report, which was the first to determine the number of women in the Minnesota legal profession, conducted through a name classification analysis of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s lawyer registration data.


The MWL Gender Data Project has been a key area of focus for Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) for nearly a decade.  In addressing gender inequities and working to address them, MWL had been discouraged by the lack of demographic data specific to the Minnesota legal profession.  This obstacle first moved to the forefront in 2010 when then-MWL President Judge Elizabeth Cutter initiated the MWL Parity Taskforce to examine the current position of women lawyers in Minnesota.  The Parity Taskforce quickly determined that a thorough examination of the status of Minnesota’s women lawyers could not be accomplished without comprehensive demographic data.  In other words, how could we tell what needed to be done to achieve parity, if we did not know where we were now?


Through MWL efforts, the results of the 2015 Gender Data Project and this 2019 Follow-Up Report are exciting milestones in MWL’s objective to determine and clarify the status of women in Minnesota’s legal profession. MWL is also grateful to the Minnesota Supreme Court for its support of the collection and reporting of both gender and race demographic data, as part of its Annual Report of the Minnesota Judicial Branch. Collectively, these efforts continue to be important steps along the path to better understanding the make-up of the Minnesota legal community. MWL recognizes that comprehensive and long-term data collection is vital. MWL continues to advocate for additional data on practice type, employment titles or positions, employment status (full- or part-time), compensation, as well as disability and LGBTQ status. It is only through the collection of comprehensive data that we can better answer important questions related to parity within the legal profession.  Why is pay equity an issue?  Why are some women leaving the profession or leaving certain types of jobs in the legal profession?  What additional challenges might exist for attorneys who are women of color, LGBTQ+ or persons with disabilities? 


It is MWL's mission to advance the success of women attorneys and strive for a just society.  To that end, we provide leadership, professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities for women attorneys at all levels.  Equally important is our role in advocating for the equality of women within the profession.  We are excited by these efforts to "count” the number of women in Minnesota’s legal profession and to better understand what it will take to achieve not only parity, but more importantly, equity for all women lawyers. We look forward to continuing the work to determine where change is needed and how to work to best advocate for all women in Minnesota’s legal profession.  


View:  MWL Gender Data Project: 2019 Follow-Up Report

View:  MWL Gender Data Project: 2015 First Report


For more information about the MWL Gender Data Project: 2019 Follow-Up Report or MWL's continuing efforts related to data collection, analysis and research, please contact Executive Director Debra Pexa (612/338-3205;






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