2022 LCA President Michael Ehrenstein interviews 2018 LCA President Marguerite Willis on gender diversity in the legal profession

Dear Fellows,

Commitment to Gender Diversity Not Reflected In How We Value Women Lawyers

As Fellows in the LCA, we commit to promotion of gender diversity within our noble profession. We do so not just because diversity makes us better and more profitable advocates, but more so because we recognize that there can be no justice without equality. Yet, there remains an unfair and unjustifiable failure to recognize the value of female attorneys, who are paid only .85 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.

Why I Asked LCA Fellow Marguerite Willis About The Value Gap

Marguerite, a partner at Nexsen Pruet is a knowledgeable, incisive, and compelling trial lawyer primarily focused on major anti-trust litigation. No arm-chair activist, Marguerite “walks the walk”, having shattered glass ceilings along her career path. She was the first female law clerk ever hired by a Federal Circuit Court Judge, the first female associate hired by a Charlotte firm, and the first woman partner at a major anti-trust firm. In addition, Marguerite promotes diversity through her leadership of the Women's Rights and Empowerment Network, the South Carolina Women Lawyers’ Association, the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia, the Women’s Leadership Institute, and Women in Philanthropy. She is well informed and passionate about gender diversity within the bar.

Recently, Marguerite graciously shared with me her views on the value of female lawyers in our profession: how they value themselves, how they are valued by those with whom they work, and how they are valued by their clients. I encourage you to watch our conversation HERE. In addition, we have included below links to additional resources for those who wish to delve more deeply into this topic.

Our next in-person meeting will be announced shortly.

Steve and Dottie Henry, and the fabulous LCA team continue finalizing plans for our next in person meeting which we hope to announce shortly.

In the meantime, if you will be in South Florida, please let Theresa and me show you some hospitality.


Very truly yours,

Michael Ehrenstein





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Stephanie Hunt, "Taking Them Head On: From Goliath companies to establishment politicians, Marguerite Willis comes ready for battle," South Carolina Super Lawyers Magazine, 20-25 (April 22, 2022).

Andrew Strickler, "Should Judges Police The Legal Industry Pay Gap?" Law360.com, (June 1, 2022)

Sheryl L. Axelrod, Nora R. Chandler, Marguerite S. Willis, "Diversity in Leadership: The Profitability of Diversity," LCA 2018 Fall Conference & Celebration of Fellows (October 26, 2018)

Denise S. Cline, Cecilie Loidolt, Marguerite S. Willis, "So, Now What? A Candid Look at the Progress of Women in the Practice of Law," and the presentation "So, Now What? A Candid Look at the Progress of Women in the Practice of Law Powerpoint," LCA 2019 Fall Conference & Celebration of Fellows (October 25, 2019)